We got the BEET!

I have to admit it took me a long time. A LOOOOONG time to find my way into the beet. I always thought beets were beat. (har! har!) I never understood the appeal. To me, they tasted like. . . dirt. Like the earth, but not in a good way. I had a co-worker who was fond of Borscht for lunch. I’d watch her down that stuff and think, “How can that possibly be what she WANTS?” My grilled cheese and tomato or minestrone soup seemed a much more tasty meal than that weird purply pink stuff.
It wasn’t until years later that I decided to take on the beet. For real. We started getting a share of veggies at our CSA farm and they loaded us up with root veggies that I was never found buying at the local market and thus had no idea what to do with them. Beets, turnips, parsnips. LOADS of them. At first I tried to ignore them as if they would go away. But then, I thought, I can’t get this stuff go to waste. I paid for it. They grew it. It’s not right. So, I started researching recipes for beets. I figured that there had to be away to eat them that I would like.
Lo and behold there was. After much looking and testing, here is what I consider the “beet dislikers favorite beet recipe.” Don’t be afraid. It’s actually really good! This comes to you from the wonderful folks at Williams-sonoma.com. I tried messing with it, but it’s really perfect how it is.

1 1/2 lb. red beets, with greens attached
1 1/2 lb. yellow beets, with greens attached
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat an oven to 400F.

2. Trim off the beet greens and reserve for another use. Wash the beets well but do not peel, and place in a shallow baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and water. Pour the mixture over the beets and toss to coat them completely.

3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the beets are tender when pierced with a skewer, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover and let cool for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil until reduced by one-third, about 10 seconds. Remove from the heat.

5. Peel the beets by slipping off the skins, then cut them crosswise into thin slices. Place in a warmed serving bowl and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Season with salt and pepper, toss to coat and serve immediately.

It’s majorly yummy and easy to do. I’ve never found a good use for the beet tops, so if you have one, please pass the wisdom on over! OH, also, throwing on a little crumbled goat cheese makes it even tastier.

People have been known to use beets in baking. For me, this is just a wacky idea that I’m not willing to try, but if you ARE, here’s an interesting sounding one to consider. It comes from latartinegourmande.com. Have a look!