Beets! Beets can be somewhat polarizing, our CSA members tend to love them or hate them. Many of our members report enjoying beets after trying them in a different way they were exposed to earlier. Like roasted instead of canned. I personally love beets, they have a great earthy flavor that pairs well with their greens and are extremely versatile. We have beets in our CSA shares throughout the season – they store well so it’s one of the few crops you might find at the beginning, middle, and end of the season. My favorites are the beautiful ruby red bunches with the green still attached. We also grow a few heirloom varieties that have a different shape, but the same bright red interior. If beets aren’t your thing (yet) try them paired with goat cheese, the flavors compliment each other perfectly.
Update! 14 Ideas and counting!
Salad. Scrub your beets thoroughly, then wrap whole in foil. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake at 350F wrapped in foil for about an hour until tender. I often roast the beets when I wake up and save them for a salad for dinner. When baked like this the skins slip right off. I slice them in thick slabs and layer with arugula, goat cheese, and sunflower seeds like this Arugula & Beet Salad.
Raw. Grate beets and add to salads, wraps, quesadillas, or just drizzle with olive oil and enjoy.
Risotto. Cook diced or shredded beets until very tender and then simmer into an unconventional risotto. The sweetness of beets pairs well with a creamy dish, especially with the goat cheese pairing. This version also gets a hint of sweetness from balsamic vinegar.
Dessert. Yes, you read that right! Beets are a surprising compliment to chocolate – I’m not sure if they bring out each others’ flavors or the chocolate masks the beet, but give it a try. These brownies are rich, and have a gluten free variation. We also like beet cake and ice cream!
Soup. This is a more traditional use of these vibrant root vegetables, try our Beef Borscht with local beef. This soup gets it’s creaminess from a dollop of sour cream – perfect for the fennel, beets, and cabbage. We also have a creamy Fennel Beet Soup for vegetarians just swap vegetable stock for chicken.
Pizza or Flatbread. Try our summer version – with sautéed beet greens and fresh mozzarella or the winter time flatbread – just beets and goat cheese. Lightly cooked escarole or arugula would also pair well, as well as other thinly sliced roots. Get creative!
Slaw. Grate beets by hand, on a mandolin, or in a food processor. Pair with carrots, a vinaigrette, toasted seeds, and dried fruit. Beets also pair well with apples, spicy flavors, and orange.
Sandwiches. One of the best things I tried this year was a cured beet flatbread with local pickles, hummus, and micro greens. Try our simple recipe for cured root vegetables or just thinly slice cooked or raw beets and add to your veggie or smoked turkey sandwiches.
Pickled. Preserve your beets (and onions if you like) in a quick pickling solution of rice vinegar, sugar, and water. Enjoy pickled beets as a snack, on a salad, or in a sandwich.
Stew. Beet bourguignon was so tasty during Winter Share season! Similar to beef bourguignon, beets and mushrooms are simmered in red wine and herbs and served over non traditional savory lentils.
Gratin. Another great creamy preparation is this hearty gratin with fresh breadcrumbs and gruyere cheese. This dish is great with any combination of root vegetables and the cheese can also be changed for different flavors.
Chips. Don’t buy the overpriced bags in the store! Thinly slice your beets on a mandolin and dehydrate. Don’t have a dehydrator? These chips just require parchment paper and an oven.
Smoothies. Take advantage of the natural sweet flavor of beets with a smoothie. Try our Pineapple Beet Smoothie – or just add a cup of grated beets to your next berry smoothie!