Have you been finding beets in your CSA basket or co-op haul lately? Maybe you have noticed their bright colors at your local grocery store. Before this year, I never realized how many different colors of beets there are. We have been lucky enough to pick our own beets at a local farm and can find red, golden and even candy cane striped beets. I think my favorite right now are the golden beets. They have amazing flavor and don’t stain my hands like the red ones do.
If you have never had a beet before, or were force-fed canned beets as a child, you may be hesitant to try them, in any color. I encourage you to take the hated veggie challenge on this one because beets are deliciously sweet and tender if prepared correctly. Don’t be intimidated, they are actually very easy to handle. You can roast, boil or even grate raw beets for a salad.
To roast, trim the ends off of your beets (if the greens are still intact and healthy, clean and saute them to eat alongside your beets). Place beets in the center of a large piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, close up your foil packet and stick into a 375 degree oven. Small beets might be done in 30 minutes, but large or older beets will easily take an hour to roast completely. Take them out of the oven and let rest until cool enough to touch. Slip the skin off, then chop or slice into desired size. You can eat them plain right then and there, or you can toss them into a salad. If you are working with red beets, watch out, they will stain!
If you don’t want to turn on your oven, you can boil beets on the stove. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the beets. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. To tell if they are done, stick a fork into the flesh. If the beet slides right off, they are finished. Cooking time is the same as roasting.
While we love to eat our beets by themselves in all of their sweet goodness, we also like to throw them onto a salad with tangy cheese and almonds.
Romaine Salad with Beets, Feta and Almonds
-1 head romaine lettuce
-2 large beets (any color), cooked, peeled and diced
-1/4 cup feta cheese (could also use goat cheese, blue or gorgonzola)
-1/4 cup sliced almonds
Chop romaine lettuce, toss with diced beets, crumbled cheese and sliced almonds. Serve with drizzle of favorite dressing or eat it without. The combination of flavors is wonderful on its own.
Do you like beets? Would you be willing to try them again?