Sunday, June 6, 2010

We Got the Beet

Weaning myself off of junk food may not be the easiest endeavor that I’ve undertaken. I’ve been addicted for quite some time, and old habits die hard. While I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, I still enjoy sugar now and again. I’ve found a helpful and unlikely remedy for the removal of junk food from my diet: beets.

I often get the impression that the Beet Fan Club is a small but devoted group of beet fanatics. I love beets. I’ve loved beets for as long as I can remember eating them. Canned beets are a cheap and easy addition to salads, but the flavor is often lacking from sitting in the water for so long. At the supermarket, beets are seldom inexpensive. At my local supermarkets, beets are typically sold in bunches of about 3, for $3-4 per pound. Maybe it’s a deal when you figure in the cost of gas to bring the beets to the supermarket and all of the production, but I want more beets for my money.

This past Friday, I bought a bunch of beets from a very pleasant gentleman who was selling the extra that his family had. I gladly spent $1 for a bunch of about 8 small beets. When I came home, I grated one of them and had it with lettuce and vinaigrette. Tasty, but it was still missing something.

I had been thinking about the remaining beets sitting in my fridge and decided that today would be the day for a salad. I peeled the raw beets, which is easier than rubbing hot beets to get the skin off. I put them in a small pie plate, drizzled them with orange juice and salt, and then put them in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes. I wasn’t exactly timing them—I pulled them out of the oven when I could smell the juices start to burn. While they were still hot, I tossed them in a bit more orange juice. I quartered each beet in an attempt to get them to cool faster. I couldn’t wait. As soon as the steam stopped coming off of them, I started popping them into my mouth. Still warm, the natural sweetness enhanced by the orange juice.

I arranged some mixed lettuces on a plate, added the remaining beet quarters, then drizzled it all with the Stone House mustard vinaigrette. This was topped with the sweet and spicy pecans and the creamy feta that I’d picked up at the farmers’ market yesterday. I almost cried as I neared the end of my salad. While I still have more of the other ingredients, I’m out of beets! I don’t know if I’ll make it until tomorrow to get more! The feta producer apologized that he only had the large container of feta and asked if I’d be able to eat it all. As long as I can get my hands on more beets, it won’t be a problem. Who needs candy when there’s sweet deliciousness to be had in a beet?

The Beet Fan Club is always looking for more members. I will be retaining my lifelong membership and may even begin a recruiting campaign. Long live the beet!

No comments:

Post a Comment