Saturday, August 09, 2008

Can't Beet It

For my entire life I have claimed to dislike beets. But that recently changed when we got them in our CSA crate and I determined to find some good way to prepare them.

They were baby red beets, which I roasted in a 350 degree oven. The skins just slipped off. Then I put them in a mustardy vinaigrette sauce and added baby arugula. Delicious!

I mentioned this to a friend as we talked over coffee last week. She asked if I had cooked the greens from the beets. It had never occurred to me as I threw them in the trash.

A couple of days ago I did a repeat of the beet salad, this time including golden beets as well, after having something similar at Sonoma. I also included ripe local tomatoes. And this time I saved the beet greens.

Last night I fixed the greens while my husband grilled the chicken. This was one of those use-what-you-have-in-the-refrigerator recipes:

Greens from 2 bunches of beets, washed and coarsely chopped
4 small garlic cloves, minced
Medium sweet onion, chopped
4 small carrots, chopped
Lemon olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Saute the onion, garlic, and carrots in a small amount of olive oil over moderately high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped greens, a generous splash of Balsamic vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes.

This turned out to be one of our best new discoveries. It was the perfect accompaniment to BBQ chicken.

I am now a confirmed beet lover! But there may be no hope for black-eyed peas or lima beans.

13 Comments:

Blogger Cyndy said...

That recipe sounds delicious! Beet greens are my favorite leafy vegetable, right behind spinach.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Meant to say second favorite right behind spinach.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cyndy -- What amazed me most was that the beet greens were not at all bitter the way turnip and collard greens often are. Yum!

Tonight's recipe is Fennel with Fresh Figs. I love it when these two somewhat unusual foods are both in season.

3:31 PM  
Blogger lettuce said...

that sounds delish.
i think theres a world of difference between nasty sharp pickled beetroot and tasty sweet freshly cooked beets... mmmmm

(though the only way M and LG will allow beetroot past their lips is in a smoothie) (which is also a good use for them)

4:26 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Lettuce -- So good to hear from you again now that you must be back home once again. You are so clever to disguise things in smoothies! Maybe if my mother had done that I would have learned to like beets sooner.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I have got to pick up my crate. I love beets!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- Unfortunately they were in a previous crate, although this week's crate has fennel and eggplant. It's so much fun to find out what we are getting each week!

10:18 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

Hello Barbara!

I always hated beets as a child, I think that children's taste buds are soooo different than adults! Apparently, my grandmother made fantastic pickled beets, but I avoided them like the plague!

Reza, however, has fond memories of boiled beets as a treat when he would come home from school... :::laugh::: I thought, "Who would torture your child like that?!"

But as you can see, in the photo:
http://flickr.com/photos/51539982@N00/2172508958/
they glisten like rubies.

Now I made pickled beets and as a treat, sometimes make beets for Reza to take to work and have as a snack in the afternoon. I love the greens, you can cook them up with just salt and garlic... mmmmm! (makes a great stuffing for an omelette).

12:46 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- I like the idea of being able to blame my immature taste buds for my dislike of beets as a child!

That's a really great photo -- a lot of beets!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I think Lettuce is right -- it's all in how they're prepared. I actually love beets, and you're right, the greens are great too.

4:34 PM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

My Grandpa grew beets (and Okra) so I've eaten them both all my life.
Did you know a kid will eat anything you let him harvest?
Worked on my kids!

9:18 AM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

I ADORE beets.
Try The Barefoot Contessa's Beet and Orange Salad. It's awesome!

For quick meals try Trader Joe's packaged beets (in the produce section). They're already steamed and ready to go.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- I might like the greens even better than the beets!

Bulletholes -- An adult will eat anything that comes in the pre-paid CSA crate!

Gewels -- Thanks for the recipe suggestion. I will also check out the beets at TJ's, one of my favorite food stores these days.

9:34 AM  

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