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Beets add unique color to breakfast hash

Recipe: Purple flannel hash patties with roasted beets

An egg nicely tops off the crispy patties of purple flannel hash.

An egg nicely tops off the crispy patties of purple flannel hash.

Debbie Arrington

I like my hash in patties with a crispy crust. I also like roast beets. Combine the two and you have a colorful, flavorful breakfast.

Purple flannel hash is what happens when you put red flannel hash in the food processor. An old-school New England favorite, red flannel hash  adds cooked beets to corned beef hash; the nickname comes from the red color of both ingredients. The vegetables and meat are cubed and cooked in the oven or a skillet until crispy.

Red flannel hash stays red because the beets don’t get a chance to truly mingle with the other ingredients. The food processor lets loose the beets’ wonderful color and tints all the other ingredients.

That purple color is especially useful when mixing roast beef or corned beef; with beet juice, they blend together. It also brightens up all-roast beef hash, which can tend to look grayish.

I use seasoning salt in this recipe in part because I can see it after I add it to the patties.

Serve topped with eggs (or not) as you like it.

A roasted beet on foil
Keep the beet in foil until ready to use.

How to roast beets: Set oven to 400 degrees F. Clean beets, leaving about 1 inch of top and most of the tap root. Wrap each beet individually in foil and place in a large pan or on a rimmed cookie sheet (to catch any beet juice).

Roast beets at 400 degrees until tender when pierced with a thin knife, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. (Roast beets can be stored in their foil until ready to use.) Remove from foil and run beets under cold water. With a knife, remove top. The skin will rub right off. Remember to wear gloves while working with beets, or your hands will be purple, too.

Purple flannel hash patties

Makes 2 to 4 servings


½ onion, chopped (about ½ cup)

½ pound cooked beef and/or corned beef, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 medium potato*, cooked and peeled

1 medium rutabaga*, cooked and peeled

1 large beet or 2 small beets, roasted and peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

Seasoning salt and pepper to taste

2 to 4 fried or poached eggs (optional)


In a food processor, chop onion. Add beef or corned beef cubes. Process until meat is chopped to desired consistency.

Quarter the cooked potato and rutabaga. Add to the food processor with the meat and onion mixture, and pulse until roughly chopped but not mashed. Quarter the beet(s) and add to food processor.

Dark red hash patties in a pan
Hash patties are cooked over medium heat.

Process until beet is chopped and hash is blended, about 1 minute. (Mixture will turn bright purple.)

In a large heavy skillet, heat oil. With a large spoon, form hash mixture into patties and put into pan, flattening with the spoon or a spatula. Season patties with seasoning salt and pepper.

Cook over medium heat until patties form a crust, turning once (about 5 to 7 minutes per side).

Serve hash warm topped with eggs (optional), cooked as desired.

* May omit rutabaga and double amount of potato.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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