DIGGING DEEPER

Beets 101

I think the easiest ways to cook beets is by boiling them. First cut the greens off about an inch above the beet. The greens are great and can be used as you would spinach or chard.  You hardly even need to wash the beets, just boil them  until they are tender enough to be pierced easily with a fork. Let them cool or run them under cold water and slip the skins off.

Roasted beets are also tasty. Trim the greens as above and scrub the beets clean. Roast big beets as you would a baked potato at 400 degrees in aluminium foil pierced several times with a fork. Peel and cut beets into chunks if you want them to cook faster. Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, garlic, herbs and roast alone or with other root vegetables in an ovenproof dish.

One of my favorite salads with cooked beets is really simple. Just boil the beets, peel them and cut into bite sized pieces. Add toasted nuts, chevre or some other soft tangy goat cheese, toss with balsamic vinagrette.

Several years ago I learned a new way to eat beets from shareholder Dorothea Polster – it’s so simple you can hardly call it a recipe. She grates raw beets with apples to make a colorful and tasty salad that her kids love. Add toasted nuts and dressing and enjoy!