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baby beets, two ways

August 2, 2011

During last week’s heat wave, we resisted turning the stove on as much as possible, but we also didn’t want to survive on cold cereal, run of the mill salads and sandwiches. Enter the baby beet greens. The new-fangled belief that pesto can refer to much, much more than just the basil & pine nut variety spurred us to look for a guide to turn the leafy beet greens that came attached to the cute-as-a-button baby beets from Waxwing Farm. And instead of pasta? julienned zuchinni! The piece-de-resistance, though, may well have been the roasted baby beets. There is a sublime sweetness to a vegetable that’s been properly roasted. and make no mistake, I have been well and thoroughly wooed by a man who roasts the hell out of vegetables. *swoon*

recipes after the jump…

Baby Beet Green Pesto

  • 6 C beet greens (stalks removed & washed)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 C walnuts
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
  • sea salt, to taste

Being full-sized food processor challenged, we can never do the step that says: “slowly add the oil through the feed tube & mix until you get your desired pesto consistency.” Instead, we use the little mini processor and do all the ingredients separately in batches. it may not have the perfect consistency, but boy does it still taste good.

Use a food processor to chop the greens into small pieces.

Peel and press the garlic into the beet greens, pulse a few more times, then remove to a separate bowl.

Chop the walnuts thoroughly, then add the cheese and pulse again until they are the correct consistency; move them to the bowl with the greens / garlic.

Add the lemon zest and juice to the mixture along with the oil and mix thoroughly.

Add salt to taste.

EJ’s Roasted Beets

This method, I’m told, works well for any size of beet, though roasting time and use of foil differs.

Toss the beets in enough olive oil to coat (but not drown) them, with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast in an oven preheated to 375.

For baby beets: 10 – 15 minutes, right on the pan.

For juvenile to adult beets: 30 – 60 minutes, wrapped in foil.

For all beets, test for doneness with a toothpick or skewer. They’re ready when easily pierced.

Babies can be eaten with the skin on (oooh, that sounds much worse written out than it did in my head). Let the older beets cool a bit before rubbing the skin off.

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