Friday, November 15, 2013

Beets Me

It seems to me that beets are not the most popular vegetable around.  I'm not sure why that is exactly, but I'm sure the reasons vary.  Some may not have been previously exposed to beets (maybe their parents didn't like them), maybe they think they taste like dirt (as a client once said) or maybe they've only had them boiled (in which case I don't really blame them)!  A few years ago I asked Nels about beets, I figured being a farm kid he must have eaten a ton of them (turns out most of my "farm kid" assumptions are wrong).  He said they didn't eat a ton of beats but when they did they were just boiled.  So we opened a can one night, boiled them up and I could then officially say I did not like beets.  Then the o'll CSA came along.  I've written many times about our beloved box of veggies that we pick up every week from Early Morning Farm (which by the way are offering a discount if you sign up by 11/30/13 for next season).  This box contains all kinds of amazing veg and often contains a few beets.  Since I was feeling less than lucky to have all these beets I started looking for other ways (besides boiling) to make them.  Luckily beets hold up really well in the fridge so its okay if you don't get to them right away.  I did remember that many moons ago I tried some pickled beets that my friend Danielle made, so I found a recipe and now keep a jar or two in the fridge to eat on salads.  My current favorite is roasted beets tossed with arugula, pistachios and bleu cheese crumbles.  I made them for Thanksgiving last year and they (spoiler alert) will be on the table again this year.  Its an easy side dish, I think you should try them out.
Get yourself a few beets and scrub the dirt off of them.
Put them in some foil with a little drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper.
Make sure you wrap them up nice and tight.  Those suckers are juicy and you don't want all of that on the bottom of your oven (just trust me).  Roast in a 425 oven for about 45 min or until fork tender.
When they're done let them cool enough to handle and rub off the skins.  They should slip right off.

Then just cut them up to what ever size is manageable.
Clean a nice bunch of arugula.  If you're not familiar with arugula, it has a peppery taste to it.  If you're not a fan, try using fresh spinach or kale or what ever leafy greens you like.
Next, grab some pistachios and some crumbly bleu cheese.
Toss it all together while the beets are still warm.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  In case you're wondering, that is feta in the picture, I was out of bleu cheese but this tasted pretty darn good too.  Bleu is better though if you ask me.

With the high number of vitamins and minerals found in beets (potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B and C, fiber and folic acid to name a few) its worth playing around with them to find a recipe that you like.  I even had one in my smoothie this morning.  I feel like a rock star.
So if you want to live a long active life like these old geezers...OK, I couldn't resist a Halloween picture.  These are a couple of funny kids!
Bon Appetit!

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