Local beets are available all year round. Their ruby color and earthy sweetness make them a welcome accompaniment to any dinner, but beets in summer have a more delicate skin. My mother made a pork roast with cracklings at the farm last night for Sunday dinner and we had 4 vegetables sides: roasted zucchini, salad from the garden, roasted sweet potatoes and a raw beet salad which I made.
With the sometimes overwhelming bounty of our CSA confidence is key and using the vegetables without too much fuss is the best way to make the most out of your share. I have found that if I get too caught up in strict recipes, some of the vegetables go to waste, and techniques for cooking are most helpful. Here are two recipes for beets that are wonderfully simple and delicious and don’t require pre-roasting or boiling of the beets; they are also open to interpretation and experimentation.
I have been instagraming my food lately and I love the casual elegance the shots provide. (all these are instragram photos!)
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Raw Beet Salad
- 1 bunch beets (reserve the greens for another dish)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Lots of salt and pepper
- Maple syrup to taste (about 1 tablespoon)
- A splash or two of olive oil
- Seasonal herb you have handy (I used chives)
- Clean and peel your beets.
- Use a grater to grate, or a mandoline to julienne the beets.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the grated beets and add olive oil and maple syrup.
- Season with salt and pepper. I like to season this salad well.
- Dress with chives.
Gingered Skillet Beets
- 1 bunch beets, with greens
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- about 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- a few tabs of butter
- salt and pepper
- Clean the beets well, tear off the greens and wash them too.
- Slice the beets thinly and tear the greens.
- Heat large heavy bottomed skillet on a medium flame, add olive oil, place the sliced beets, add water and cook at a medium heat for about 15 minutes until they are soft. Use a fork to test that they are tender. (I like them very soft).
- Add the butter, grated ginger and greens.
- Raise the heat to medium/high and sauté until the greens wilt about five minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.