The Incredible BEET!

beets pronto 1aBeets have been in season now for several weeks, and will continue throughout most of the summer.  Traditional beets are a brilliant red, while new varieties include shades of orange, yellow, white and even red/white striped roots!  Slightly sweet in flavor, a Lancaster County staple was to pickle beets in vinegar.  While this is a tasty treat, there is much more to enjoy than a pickled beet.

Try beet and goat cheese salad, a favorite dish at John Wright Restaurant, Wrightsville, PA.  Sliced beets combined with warm goat cheese and vinaigrette is quite an event for your mouth!

Did you know freezing beets is another option for preserving.  Just scrub, boil (peel on) for 45-60 minutes and cool.  Once cool, skins will pop right off, trim, slice and place in a freezer safe container.  Be sure they are totally cooled throughout before freezing.  I like to chill mine in the fridge for several hours before freezing.

My personal favorite is roasted beets on the grill.  I scrub them and slice – peel on.  Then roast until tender with butter and a splash of basil or oregano.

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The cool weather this summer has provided a bountiful beet harvest from my garden.  Generally harvesting a large bucket per week, yielding lots of leftover beets.  We take the cold roasted beets and add some fermented gingered carrots (from the store) and top with blue cheese.  This is such a fun and easy salad – the fermented carrots are a nice contrast with the sweetness of the beets.

Beet soups are popular on several recipe sites online.  Generally they consist of pureed beets, chicken/vegetable broth and cream.  While I find this quite good, my family is a bit leery of a bright pink soup.

My next venture will be homemade beet ice cream.  I have tried this with other herbs with success, so we’ll see what happens with beets!

Stop by and pick up a bunch today and begin experimenting and sharing the beet goodness with your family.

 

Wendy Brister
wbbrister@comcast.net

Wendy Brister is a freelance garden writer and marketing consultant specializing in vegetable gardening, native plants, and sustainable landscaping.