10
Mar
10

Just Beet it!


Beautiful jewels of the earth

I love beets.  They are so beautiful.  Sweet and earthy, and when they are dressed, they shimmer like fine jewels under showroom lights.  According to Harold McGee’s book ” On Food and Cooking”  beets have been eaten by man since prehistory.  They are native to a vast region of Eurasia from Britain to India.  In the 18th century, a white beet variety began to be cultivated for sugar production.  I always wondered why beet sugar wasn’t pink.  Did you know that up to 8% of the beet’s weight is sugar?  That is an exceptional figure for a vegetable.

Another interesting fact about beets and us humans is the ability to metabolize the bright red pigment, called betacyanin, is controlled by a single genetic locus.  People who have inherited two recessive genes pass the pigment in their urine.  In other words, after consuming red beets, those fortunate bastards get to pee pink!!!  Lucky.

So, where are we going with all this?  Well, I just wanted to write about how easy it is to make a simple, light dinner using one of my favorite root vegetables.

Scrub the beets, trim off the ends, you can peel before or after.  I like to peel after they are cooked because the peel slides right off with a small, sharp knife.  I add fresh rosemary sprigs just because I have it growing in my yard but you don’t have to, and wrap it all up in heavy foil.  Set your oven to 350 degrees, place the wrapped beets on a baking tray just in case that foil gets a little whole in it.  You don’t want beet juice mucking up your oven, trust me.  Roast for about an hour or until tender when pierced with a knife.  I like to just stab it through the foil; it’s easier than opening the foil and risking a steam burn.

All dressed up and ready to go

Once your beets are roasted and peeled, cut them up into bite size pieces and place them in a bowl.  Whisk together some olive oil, a little orange juice, salt and pepper and toss in the beets.  Once they are nice and evenly coated you are ready to eat.

 

The night we ate these beets I paired them with a bit of  herb rolled goat cheese and some basmati rice cooked in vegetable broth and spiked with Tamari and nutritional yeast.  Yeah, it was that good.

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1 Response to “Just Beet it!”


  1. March 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Beets are definitely my favorite root vegetable (fresh pressed beet juice tastes just like chocolate milk to me… I know, weird), and beet greens (the leaves that grow out of the root) are my favorite of all greens. Hey, maybe we should grow nothing but beets in all 5 of the raised beds in our garden this year! By the time we eat through all those beets, you’ll be peeing pink, I guarantee it.


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