Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I'm in Week 7 of my CSA this year, and I've recieved beets every week.  Last year, we were a bit intimidated by the beets.  Will wasn't much of a fan and the only way I knew to cook them was to roast them in the oven.  This was problematic because a) the last thing you want to do in the summer is turn your oven on, so you can make a roasted beet salad, and b) 400 degrees for 1 hour for 4 tiny beets doesn't seem like the best use of electricity.

As a result, I semi-hoarded the beets last year and cooked them up in large batches.  Only that left us with HUGE amounts of beets, which then went into the freezer, never to be thought of again.  I used some of them, but after freezing the texture was a little off.  (this is the scenario with many things from last year... sigh)

This year, I've resolved to be better about using my CSA produce immediately.  None of this freezer business.  This is pushing me to try different things with my produce, and thusly, I'm discovering new and tasty ways to enjoy it.

Beets - three preparations

Roasted Beet Salad with Wilted Greens
  • Beets
  • greens of some sort (beet greens, spinach, etc)
  • chevre (soft goat cheese)
  • Citrus vinaigarette (lemon/lime/orange, olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe some vinegar if you want)
Roasted Beets:
  1. Cut tops and bottoms off of beets.  Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for ~1 hr (you want to easily pierce them with a fork)
  2. Allow beets to cool (you can either roast them the day before and put in the fridge, or submerge them in ice water)
  3. Remove the peel from the beets.  It should slide of pretty easily with your fingers.
  4. Slice as you desire.
Wilted Greens:
  1. Wash and dry greens
  2. Heat sautee pan and olive oil
  3. Sautee just enough to wilt, not enough to cook down. 
  4. Add salt to taste, if needed
Make a quick vinaigarette by combining your citrus of choice, olive oil, your choice of vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Let it set while you wilt your greens.

Assemble salad.  Greens on the bottom, then beets, then crumbled goat cheese, then drizzle with the citrus vinaigerette.  Done!

Raw Beet Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
I know, raw beets.  But trust me!  This is better if as you let it sit.  The acid almost cerviches the veggies.  We brought this with us camping and it was super tasty!

  • beets
  • other crunchy veggie - carrots, jicima, kohlrabi, onion
  • fresh herbs - again, whatever is handy
  • dijon mustard
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt/pepper
  • white whine vinegar
  • garlic, minced or crushed.  I love this garlic press - way easier than hand mincing.
  1. Slice veggies into matchsticks (you can peel things, but you don't have to).  You want fairly thin, uniform slices to the acid will penetrate.  (full disclosure, I just bought a mandoline because slicing everything by hand was a bit of a pain.  Doable, but much better with toys).
  2. Chop up herbs and garlic.  I used cilantro and green onion because that's what I had on hand, but nearly anything green will work.
  3. In a small bowl, prepare the vinaigrette.  I would suggest ~2 T olive oil, 1 T vinegar, 2T mustard, salt and pepper to taste.  These are to get you started and doctor as needed.
  4. In a large bowl, combine veggies, herbs, garlic, and vinaigrette.  Toss well to combine.
  5. Store in the fridge and let flavors meld.  Everything will end up beet pink, but that's ok.
Beet Carpaccio
  • Beets (I used chiogga beets because they're SO PRETTY, but any beet will work).
  • Olive oil
  • fresh herbs
  • salt/pepper
  • maybe some citrus or vinegar if you want.
seriously.  these are some cool looking beets

  1. Heat water to boiling in a saucepan.
  2. Slice beets in uniform, fairly thin slices.  The thinner the better (reason #2 I bought a mandoline).  You can peel the beets if you want, but I didn't and it was just fine.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add beets to the water and cook for 2-3 minutes. You want them to be slightly tender, ie cooked enough to take the crunch out of them.
  4. Once cooked, remove the beets and cool in an ice bath.
  5. Once cooled, drain beets and add to large bowl or the pan you boiled them in (to reduce dishes)
  6. Add olive oil, herbs, salt/pepper, and citrus/vinegar to taste. 
  7. Toss and serve.

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