“And what in the world are you going to do with THOSE?” the older woman was referring to the large bunch of fresh-from-someone’s-garden-this-morning baby red and yellow chioggia beets in my hands. Yes, the beets are starting to arrive!
I assured her that my family would LOVE them for dinner. “Well,” she muttered doubtfully, “If you’re sure…..” She was clearly not sure of any such thing herself.
It turns out that she had never had fresh beets in her LIFE. I am constantly running into people who have never eaten fresh beets and they (and maybe YOU) are missing out on a treat. And for that reason, I MUST share this important information as we’re coming into fresh beet season.
I thank my mom for my own enthusiasm about beets. She raised me right…and all before people knew much about anti-oxidents and all the other great things in fresh beets.
Fixing fresh beets is soooooo simple. First you cut off the tops and boil the beets just about to death. Beets take a long time to cook and you need to watch them to be sure they don’t boil dry and burn. Large beets can take as much as a full hour to cook. They’re done when you can stick a fork in them easily. They won’t be quite as soft as boiled potatoes would be but close. If you’re standing in the grocery store dithering about whether to buy a couple huge beets or a whole bunch of smaller ones, go for smaller ones. They cook faster and they’re usually a little sweeter.
After they’ve been boiled, the outer skin just slides off of the beets. They are still full of red or yellow color, so be careful not to splash them on your clothes. Once you’ve removed the outer skins, cut the beets into 1 inch cubes and return to the pan. Barely heat them through. Toss them with butter, salt, and coarsely ground pepper and serve.
My kids have grown up eating fresh beets and they all LOVE them. They especially love them because if they eat enough of them, they pee pink. When they were little, my boys thought this was a great thing. Don’t ask me why.
If you’re in the High Country, keep in mind that Stick Boy Bread is still making graduation cakes. Their bread of the week this week is Chipotle Cheddar, one of my very favorites!
Barb, writing at My Sister’s Kitchen