Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Post for The Beet

This salad has to make an appearance on my blog...look how pretty it is. My dad dedicated three rows of beets to me in his garden, and here are the results. The beet is so misunderstood (it hasn't had a chance since it was pickled and canned and sold by Del Monte), but I guarantee it deserves much, much more. The beet deserves a post of its own, at the very least. (Maybe the misunderstood eggplant will be next.)

OK, and the MEN at the roof party all requested this recipe. Ahem...

So, scrub them, cut the tops and bottoms off so they sit firmly in a 9x13, then fill your pan with about an inch of water. Douse them with olive oil and a bunch of red wine vinegar because they will soak it up and their sweetness...well, that's all the beet is ever asking for--to be able to soak up other flavors and to be amazing. So just let it. Cover with foil and roast at 350 for about an hour, until a knife slips in easily. I put on rubber gloves and peel them right away because if you wait, the skin is harder to remove. Either way, you will have a bloody mess when you are done with the whole thing. Beets are high maintenance, but don't be like everyone else and just give up on them. (That bright magenta color looks good on everything, too!)

Anyway, here's the blog recipe I use:

For the dressing, I used mostly apple cider vinegar and then threw in a T or so of balsamic, which tasted great. I love how you get to mix and match fruits and nuts with beets in this recipe. For the salad in the picture, I used blueberries, dried cranberries and figs; last time I used dried apricots and fresh strawberries. I think any combination would be fantastic. I have also used pepitas and goat cheese instead of almonds and feta. I tell you, you can't go wrong. And the avocado? I know it doesn't seem like it would work, but it really does.

BTW, I didn't mean to dis the pickled beet above. My grandma makes them best, and here is her recipe:

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cups water
1/3 cups cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves and salt

Bring to boiling, add two cups sliced beets and simmer five minutes.

OK, beet, you are going to share your post with Henry and his red wagon (which he and Casey pulled five blocks to get was filled with salads made from organic produce from the Phinney Farmer's Market and beer) and the Women of Meadowdale on the Roof (I'm still one).

p.s. Casey (pictured below: Rita, Julie, Natasha, me, Casey)just sent me some "Beet Poetry" by Tom Robbins, so it has to go on the post:


the beet is the most intense of vegetables

the radish admittedly is more feverish

but the fire of the radish is a cold fire the fire of discontent not of passion

tomatoes are lusty enough yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity

beets are deadly serious

the beet is a melancholy vegetable the one most willing to suffer

you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip . . .

the beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime

the beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot

the beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon

bearded buried all but fossilized

the dark green sails of the grounder moon-boat

stitched with the veins of primordial plasma

the kite string that once connected the moon

to the earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies

tom robbins


The Norris Clan said...

three rows, huh...

It looks so flavorful and colorful, but I have this horrible image burned in my mind as a child watching my mom pile HIGH the beets onto of her salad bar plate. Eeewwww! What a way to ruin a perfectly good garden salad.

Sorry... maybe you can change my mind with your amazing cooking ways...

Jessica said...

yea for beets and eggplants!

Alanna Kellogg said...

Gorgeous salad, for sure! But I almost hooted when you talked about beets being high maintenance -- I call them one of nature's 'convenience' foods for once they're cooked (usually in far less fussy ways than this ...) they can be used in so many ways. Anyway, so glad you love the salad, me too!

Marjie said...

Oh my, my blog has just been visited by Alanna, "The Veggie Evangelist"! I love your blog, Alanna!

I will have to reconsider my statement about beets being HM. My kitchen is always covered in beet blood when I am done with them...but I am a messy cook!

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kumma said...

I feel even more proud to be on the same plane as the beet in being immortalized as the subject of a blog! In fact, I'm changing my stage name to "Billy Beet."

Marjie said...

That says a lot about you, Billy Beet. You GET it. You get IT. What else can I immortalize?

Brian Bowker said...

I do love the beets! Even pickled in the can. Kristi and I eat them at least once a week!

But then again, I also love the crisp snap of a Hershey bar.

Marjie said...

Brian, sometimes it's best to have your own little secrets.

Malissa said...

The Beet is the King of Vegetables....

Unknown said...

ooo... i am an eggplant super fan! sigh. i want the spicy eggplant sooooo badly right now. with rice.

Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.