B is for Beet.
What: Root vegetable, related to Swiss Chard.
When: Spring to Fall. Beets are tolerant of cooler weather, able to extend the growing season into the late Fall.
Where: Originally from Europe beets will grow almost anywhere, although they favor a cooler climate.
Why: The root (the most commonly eaten part) is high in Vitamin C, Fiber and Folate. The greens (best eaten from young plants) are high in Vitamin A.
Beets are commonly found in Borscht, pickled, canned and raw. Pickled Beets are eaten as a condiment. Raw Beets can be shredded into salads, boiled, steamed or roasted.
1 lb beets, tops removed and washed
Preheat oven to 350'. Scrub beets and cut off tops and bottoms. Place in a single layer on a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in foil and bake for 1 hour or until beets are easily pierced with a sharp knife.
To Peel Roasted Beets
Cool roasted beets to room temperature. Using 3 or 4 paper towels (or a dish towel you don't care about wrecking) briskly rub the beets one at a time, until all the skin is rubbed off.
Vegetarian Salad Nicoise
1 lb new potatos, steamed or boiled until tender
1/2 lb beets, roasted and peeled
1 lb green beans, steamed until tender-crisp
5 roma tomatos
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
3 hard cooked eggs (optional)
1/2 cup nicoise or kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tb dijon mustard
1 garlic clove minced
1 tb olive paste
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Cut the potatos and beets into chunks. Cut the beans into thirds. Wedge the tomatos and eggs.
Arrange all the vegetables and eggs if using on a large platter. Scatter the olives over the top.
Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve straight away.
Check out these links for other tasty beet recipes:
Sauteed Beet Greens with Lime and Garlic from Kickpleat at Everybody Likes Sandwiches.
Beetroot Cured Salmon from Haalo at Cook Almost Anything At Least Once.
Roast Beet Salad with Goat Cheese from Gabriella at My Life As A Reluctant Housewife.
And for fun...
Beet Marshmallows from McAuliflower at Brownie Points.