Beets are interesting because they taste like the earth. I am definitely a believer in beets being an acquired taste. I've never liked them at all. Then why did you make a beet salad you might be wondering? Because this was in my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share and I felt it was my duty. But who says I can't have some fun complaining about weird foods we eat that taste like the earth? Fine, I will make a confession before any further beet insults. I am a proud beet convert. The beets beat me... ha, see what I did there? But seriously, this roasted beet salad with blood orange vinaigrette is fabulous.
COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE: A GREAT WAY TO SUPPORT LOCAL FARMERS
But before I get into that, I would like to welcome you to my Community Supported Agriculture Series. I bought a summer farm share at Clark Farm in Carlisle, MA. This is very exciting. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is all about supporting local farms by buying a share of their harvest before the growing season and receiving farm fresh produce every week for a certain period of time.
I thought it would be fun to post new recipes each week where I use my fresh, organic farm veggies in recipes that you can make too! I know there are a lot of people out there who do CSA in the summer. So this is for all of you! This week is all about my organic beets, garlic scapes and arugula from Clark Farm.
Let's have some fun with food quotes. "It's always beets," is a famous quote. Did you know that? Do you know who said it? Are you dying of curiosity now? Or at least mild curiosity? Well, good. The origin will be revealed by the end of this blog post.
A toddler that loves beets? Yes, this is a true story
But seriously, I have a friend and when her son was little, around 2-3 years old, he loved BEETS. A toddler loving beets. I know, it sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, but this is a real thing that happened. A toddler in my life loved beets. Couldn't get enough of 'em. My friend would make delicious beets that were swimming in beet juice. Guess what he loved doing? Drinking the beet juice when he finished eating the beets. Gulped it right down. It made me dry heave on a couple of occasions.
As I was writing this blog post, now years later, I wondered if he still loved beets. He's a teenager, so I texted him. It went like this. ME: Random question - when you were really little you loved beets and drinking the beet juice after you ate them. Do you still like beets??? HIM: Yes. Though they scare the hell out of me because they make you pee purple/red.
The toddler that loved beets became the teenager who still eats beets. I'm amazed by this.
Beets, from my view, have sort of a cult following. And I'm starting to understand the following. Since I have never enjoyed beets, I never incorporated them into my meal planning. However, I used to be a private chef and I was once asked to prepare a cold beet soup for a large dinner party. My employer gave me the recipe she wanted me to use. I smiled and agreed, but dreaded making it. I didn't know beets stain everything. You can't imagine the mess I made making this silly soup that tasted like the earth.
How to prepare roasted beet salad without making a mess
If you are going to cook beets you need to have a pair of gloves or your hands will be stained for days. And your cutting board. And any little splashes of beet juice will attach to your apron, your favorite shirt and so on. Then there's the matter of how best to cook the beets. You can boil, steam or roast. From what I gathered on the internet, in order to preserve and, in fact, enhance the sweetness, roasting is the best option. I opted for this since beets taste like the earth and need all the sweetness we can get out of them.
Cut the long leafy stems off, create a tin foil packet around the beets and crimp the edges. There can be no holes or cracks in the foil. We're roasting them and also steaming them through the roasting process. After the beets have cooled down, you can remove the skins (wearing gloves). I set them on the counter in the foil packet until they were cooled down enough to handle.
Try to peel them in a large aluminum bowl to avoid a mess. The skins should come off easily. Next, I put them on an aluminum sheet pan to cut them so the beet smears would rinse off easily. I let these beets no where near my regular cutting board and wore gloves the entire time. There you have it! A foolproof way to avoid beet stains!
If you're considering beet conversion I fully support that
But seriously, I was so surprised how much I enjoyed these beets. In fact, one of the next CSA pick-ups gave us an option. You could choose from carrots OR beets. And I absolutely love farm carrots. I chose the beets!! I told you - I am now a beet convert and it can happen to you too!
If you are still here and curious about the famous quote, "It's always beets," here is your reward. The quote is in a video which will tell you everything you need to know about beets. Just click here to be delighted!Print