Thursday, August 3, 2017

Beets in my box ... my CSA box

Beets look intimidating, but they are really easy to cook once you learn how to prep them.  I used to throw away the beet greens, but the whole beet is edible.  You can substitute beet greens in any recipe calling for leafy greens (think swiss chard, spinach, kale, etc.)

Who am I kidding, I still throw away the beet greens.  My mom, was recently visiting so lucky for me she consumed the raw beet greens in her green drinks.  Last time I had beet greens I sauteed them in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and immediately threw them away after one bite.  Neither my husband or I could handle the earthiness in sauteed form.  Thank God for moms, especially my mom, who will take one for the team.

Don't feel so bad for her.  She claims she likes beet greens.


To prep the beets for cooking I chop off the stems (keep the stems if you dare) and give them a good wash and scrub with a potato scrubber to remove any caked on dirt.

I find that the skin slides off easier if you drizzle each beet with a small amount of oil.

I then wrap each beet in foil and place in a baking dish.  The baking dish is my insurance policy against leaks because beet juice stains everything!

Beets, depending on their size, can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to cook at a 375 degree heated oven.  These beats were relatively small, ranging in size from a tangerine to a nectarine, and took a full 40 minutes to cook until fork tender (meaning a fork easily pierces through the skin).  I would recommend checking the beets after 30 minutes of cooking to see if they are tender and then every 10-15 minutes to ensure you don't overcook them.  Beets should be slightly soft, but not mushy. Once cooked I cool the beets until I can handle them.

The dark skin will peel off in between your fingers with a rolling action.  It's ridiculously easy, but you can also remove the skin with a paring knife or carrot peeler.  I remove the stems and keep beets whole until ready to eat.  Once cooked they last about a week in an airtight container.

I love roasted beets.  Cooking brings out the sweetness in beets and their flavor is enhanced by combining them in recipes / meals that call for cheese (feta, goat, white cheddar), salt, and vinaigrette.    

Once the beets were cooked lunch was a breeze.  I used leftover veggies from my CSA box and topped the salad with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and feta cheese.  Yum!

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