Sunday, September 12, 2010

Release the Beet!

The Beet,,,,,,
Much maligned in childhood, well, not mine,, but of lore, right along with brussel sprouts and Popeye's favorite, spinach. Many folks aversion to the beet is their introduction to them. If you have ever tried the lowly "salad bar" beet salad, with its wilted onions and flavorless texture, I understand your horror. Many of us grew up with a canned beet or two on the culinary landscape and likely ducked them like enemy fire. Fast forward to the green conscious, farmers market new world order and you will discover beets have regained their lofty and regal place on the food chart.
How can one resist the dark crimson, burgundy, yellow or orange flesh that hides beneath the tough, coarse skin? Beets make a wonderful addition to salads, bringing color and a vitamin or two. A nice side dish, hot or cold and are very good when given the "salad bar" treatment at home,, try a little mint, white balsamic vinegar, virgin olive oil, red onion, garlic and salt/pepper, toss and chill, serve on baby greens with crumbled blue cheese,,,Sweet Nirvana.
Beets are easy to deal with and just take a little prep to get you on your way to a beet filled day. Buy beets that are firm and preferably have their greens, which sauteed are a great alternative to mustard greens or chard. Cut the stems/greens and rinse the beets in cold water, then in a small pot cover the beets with water, adding a pinch of salt. Bring the beets to a boil, uncovered, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 25-30 minutes. At this point I remove from the heat and go about my day, the beets cook evenly as the cool in the can't really rush the part of the process. You can cook the beets longer and then just shock them in cold water, but I think the outer edges always get overcooked compared to the center, but hey, if your in a hurry,, it does work.
Once the beets have cooled, cut off the ends and cut them however you choose for your needs. Quartered is nice since it makes them look nothing like a canned beet! Peeling is best done before you refrigerate, once cold the skin tends to cling, also I cut them right after peeling as you are already covered in beet juice, which by the way will stain your tuxedo.
So baby don't fear the beet, put it on your plate and in your diet before the season is over..Enjoy and make enough for two...


  1. Omg daddeo. Your such a foody. Can we go travel and pretend were anthony bordain?

  2. Sweet....Nice to see I am not along for my love the Amazing root Veggi!Thanks Bruce