Beet week

Beets made a return engagement in the CSA box. This time, they were the classic ruby ones, with beautiful bronze-red leafy tops.

Roasting beets is easy, and it turns the vegetable sweet and soft, but not too soft. Use a fairly high oven temperature, 400 at least. The fact that roasting makes them so sweet and, well, un-beety makes it a good way to persuade the beet-phobic to try them. It also helps if you call them “root vegetables” rather than the B-word. It’s all in the marketing.

This time, I used a recipe from Deborah Madison’s cookbook “The Savory Way” for a beet salad. I tossed the sliced roasted beets with balsamic and red wine vinegars, olive oil, sliced onions and some baby lettuce. If I make this kind of salad again, I think I’d roast the onion, too, to mellow out the texture and flavor.

That bag of tender potatoes became part of a roasted Greek chicken dish, covered in olive oil, oregano, lemon juice and garlic – 10-12 cloves worth. The small squashes ended up in a ratatouille. Yes, I know that’s not traditional, but I’m not French, either. And those shoestring-thin green beans I simply steamed, keeping their fresh flavor.

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