I love all vegetables, but I do have a new favorite: fresh beets! Maybe I have been overlooking them in the local grocery stores, but while at Central Market in Dallas, I picked a few up.
Every dinner at my house is accompanied by fresh veggies. But, it seems like I serve the same old veggies. Broccoli and carrots are the standard. Asparagus, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, green beans, cauliflower, tomatoes, celery and onions seem to be served over and over in various forms. Every now and then a bean or pea makes it’s way to the table.
When I have a chance to buy alternative veggies, I get them! At Central Market, I purchased beets and baby broccoli. I was hoping to find broccoli rabe, but no such luck.
It was the beets that will be a keeper in my pantry.
Here is what you need to know if you are new to fresh beets:
* The beet juice will temporarily stain your skin. It will also stain your cutting board.
* It is easy to prepare beets. Just cut off the ends and peel with a vegetable peeler.
* Beets can be served raw or cooked.
* Beets may be boiled, baked, steamed, microwaved, or roasted. If boiling, baking whole, or steaming do not remove the ends or peel. The color, flavor and vitamins will all escape if the skin is pierced in any way.
* Beets are available in a dark purplish crimson color, yellow and a candy striped (red and white) variety.
* The flavor of beets is usually described as earthy.
* Often beet recipes call for citrus flavors, herbs, sweetener and/or olive oil or butter. Of course, beets and sour cream are old friends (think borscht).
How I prepared my beets, you will need:
Beets, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces. I was serving two people and had 5 small beets.
2 Tbsps olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (I used lemon-thyme), optional
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
Toss beet slices with olive oil, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. I wanted to perk-up the flavor, so I added some lemon-thyme leaves that are still growing in my backyard.
When the beets were ready (about 25 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring twice), I splashed them with a little balsamic vinegar. They were beautiful and delicious.
Do you like beets? How do you serve them?