Follow along as we highlight vegetables that we're currently harvesting...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mother Nature’s Lipstick

These hot pink marvels will dress up any salad or vegetable dish, and make it sweeter, too!  Fresh from the ground they are a whole new vegetable from their canned counterparts, and they even come with greens you can eat!

Favorite Beet Recipes

Roasted Root Vegetables

2 beets, washed

2 red daikon radishes, washed 

2 parsnips, washed

4-5 potatoes, washed 

2 onions, peeled 

2 yams, washed

olive oil 

salt and pepper 

Several sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Chop the vegetables into similarly sized pieces - the smaller the pieces, the less time to cook.  Distribute the veggies into a glass baking dish.  Coat them with olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped rosemary.  Roast the vegetables at 400 degrees, stirring every 20 minutes, for least 45 minutes – until they are soft all the way through.

Harvard Beets

2 cups beets, cooked and chopped

2 cups tart apples, chopped

1/4 to 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon sugar OR 2 tablespoons lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease a casserole dish.  Mix together the first 5 ingredients and put them into the casserole.  If the apples are very tart, add the sugar.  If they are bland, add the lemon juice.  Dot the beet mixture with butter.  Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Chocolate Beet Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 cp vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups beets, cooked and pureed

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

powdered sugar for sprinkling

Melt the chocolate chips in a double burner on the stove, and set aside.  Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda, and set aside.  In separate bowl, blend sugar, eggs, and oil.  Beat in the beets, melted chocolate, and vanilla, stirring vigorously.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the beet mixture, mixing well.  Pour into a greased 9x13 inch cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.  Cool in the pan, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and enjoy!

Root Veggie Chips

4-5 medium sized beets

2 sweet potatoes

3-4 potatoes

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

salt to taste

Slice the root vegetables as thinly as possible, with the skin still on.  Spread evenly on baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway, until the potatoes are golden brown. 

Preparation Tips:

  • To prevent the beets from loosing their red color and nutrients, do not cut or peel beets before cooking them in liquid, simply scrub and rinse beets well.
  • Beets keep their bright color best if an acid ingredient, such as vinegar or lemon juice, is added during or just after cooking.
  • Beets are related to chard, and the leaves of beets can be eaten in the same ways that chard would be eaten.  Set them aside and cook separately from the beet roots; they will keep in a refrigerator for a couple of days.
  • Sauté, stir-fry, or steam beet greens along with other greens and season to taste with olive oil and garlic, lemon juice, ginger, herbs, and/or salt & pepper.
  • Replace beet greens in any recipe that calls for greens such as chard or kale.

Other Ways to Serve Beets:

  • Baking beets brings out their wetness and locks in their nutrients – but it takes some time.  Wrap beets in foil and bake at 350-400 degrees until tender, 1.5 - 2 hours.  Or, slice to similar thickness as other root vegetables and bake uncovered, drizzled with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper at 350-400 degrees until tender, about 45 minutes – 1 hour. 
  • Boil beets in a pot of boiling water, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size and age of the beets – until the beets are just tender.  Slice cooked beets and sprinkle with lemon or orange juice, pepper and herbs, or top with butter.
  • Steam beets in a vegetable steamer over boiling water for about 40 minutes, until just tender.  Leave the stems attached on tiny beets, and add lemon juice and herbs while steaming.
  • Toss warm cooked beets with a vinaigrette or your favorite dressing.
  • Coat warm or chilled cooked beets with a yogurt and dill sauce.
  • Puree cooked beets to thicken and add natural sweetness to a soup.
  • Add chilled beets to a salad just before serving (so the salad doesn’t turn red).
  • Shred cooked beets into coleslaw.

** Beets are a great source of Vitamin C, Folacin, and Manganese.  So, experiment freely with these colorful and versatile veggies – just don’t forget to wash up after!

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