These beets have been in my fridge for so long they left a dent in the bottom of the drawer. Not really.
Do you like my cheesy title? Yeah, I'm not so sure of it myself, but I'm in a bizarre mood brought on by the pink (raspberry to be barfingly specific) dress I'm wearing and the fact that it's a HOT MUTHA in NorCal again today, after three 90+ degree days.
I haven't been sleeping much due to the heat, y'all, and so I go crazy and wear pink. And then I make Earth for dinner.
Well, I make beets for dinner. And some people say they taste like dirt. And, to me, dirt = Earth, so there you go.
It's a tenuous link, but it's what I can manage for Earth Day since I'm not going to be preaching recycling or organic gardening or hugging trees or any of that other hippie crap you might hear around here. No one needs that in their lives. The preaching part anyway.
No, today we're talking beets. Because recently I had a little whiny moment about What the F do I do with all these beets and then promptly set to figuring it out like a grown-up.
I cooked them.
All of them.
All 20 lbs of them.
Just so that the hard part of dealing with beets was out of the way. Which is what I realized after my whiny bitch moment - my big problem wasn't WHAT to do with all my beets it was HOW to make that happen in a way that didn't have me turning on my fucking oven every night when it's already in the nineties around here.
I would have been eating beets all the live long day if only I didn't have to have them sitting in my oven for an hour just heating up my house like crazy before I could have the simple beet salad that is all I wanted in the whole wide world.
OH. OH! This is a logistics problem, not a beet problem. I can totally handle logistics! Well, if I remove my head from my ass, I can. Tee dah! Beet Epiphany!
After taking a breather from my Major Beet Epiphany, and dispatching all the beets via oven, I made a couple different salads from them that were quite pleasing and so, I will share them with you.
So that you, too, can eat the Earth for dinner if you so choose. And I also recommend that if you have a stash of beets (and if you're part of a CSA, you probably do), just do yourself the favor of cooking them all at once so that you can keep them sliced and chilled in your fridge to have with dinner until your whole house is stained with purple fingerprints. And don't go running off to the Internets claiming you don't know what to do with all your beets because, DUH, of course you do. Dummy.
For the record, Mr. I Don't Like Beets Bubba ate his salad right down to hitting his fork on the bottom of the bowl, beets and all, and has claimed himself a beet-liker now.
Well, how do you like that? The craziness. It never ends around here. First chard, then brussels sprouts and now beets?! It's almost too much for me to handle.
Almost, I said. (See above: "I can totally handle logistics.")
Anyway, this first salad won't come as much of a surprise to y'all if you've ever had a beet salad since I'm pretty sure it's your run-of-the-mill beet salad recipe, but here goes:
Gold + Red beets = Fanciness. Make a note.
Finny's Your Average Beet Salad
Recipe by moi. Yippee.
A buttload of uncooked beets OR 3 per person
Arugula (1 cup per person)
2 T toasted pine nuts (per person)
2 T goat cheese (per person)
Preheat your oven to 425.
The world's largest baked potatoes? No.
Top your beets (if the greens are small and young and good shape (meow), set them aside and toss them in your salad. If not, toss them a little farther into the compost pile.), slice off the top and tail and wrap them in foil. About six per packet works just fine. Roast for 50-60 minutes, or until a fork slides easily to the center of the biggest beet.
Do yourself a favor and let these cool otherwise I won't be responsible for your hand welts.
Open your packets and let those beets cool for a minute or two before you hold each one with a paper towel and slide their skins off. They come off real easy like and make a fresh red mess on your paper towel, which is kinda cool if you're me. I like these kinds of things. Like dinner tie-dye.
Ok, it might just be me.
Now that you've denuded your beets, slice them into wedges and toss them with the extra virgins (a few Ts), balsamic (a couple Ts) and salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
I always think the gold beets taste better, like they're red M&Ms or something, but I'm pretty sure they're about the same.
In your individual salad bowls, lay down a nice green bed of arugula (or whatever kind of salad green you like. Even though arugula is awesome for offsetting the sweetness of the beets. But I understand some people don't like arugula because they are communists.), a good helping of these tasty beets, a healthy crumble of goat cheese, some pine nuts and another grind of pepper for show.
Picture this salad with sliced kumquats on it and you will then know what my Heaven looks like.
Enjoy it up.
-Add sliced kumquats (FAVORITE ALERT)
-Swap pine nuts for walnuts and goat cheese for blue cheese
-Swap arugula for sunflower sprouts
-Add peeled orange wedges
-Swap balsamic vinegar for red wine vinegar
-Put a wedge of chocolate cake on top (KIDDING)(Only sort of)
So, now I only have a handful of cooked beet quarters left and I've decided that I am going to use them to make that cake I wanted with this recipe from Mango Power Girl.
Especially nice is the fact that the What the F do I do with all these beets question has been answered.
Answer: cook them.
You know, just like I told you NOT to tell me because sometimes I can be contradictory and a fresh pain in the ass. Either way, problem solved. And there will be cake!
Happy Eat the Earth Day.