Beets me

 Today was the first day of summer, and it felt like it.

Actually, it’s felt like summer in Austin for about a month. Our lettuce plants died in May, as did our broccoli and cabbage plants. Soon, it’ll be too hot for the tomatoes. This is why I harvested pretty much all of our beets about a week ago. We’ve just left them in the ground because, honestly, I have no desire to eat them. Blair alluded to my slight disgust of beets in his last post. But, he’s not a huge fan either. So, you’re probably thinking, “Why the heck did they plant all those beets?”

Homegrown Beets

We grew these from a Botanical Interests seed packet. It was called a “Gourmet Blend,” containing varieties like Bulls Blood, Chioggia, and Golden.

The answer: I really don’t think I’d eaten a beet until this spring. Honestly. I didn’t know what they tasted like when we planted them! We also followed the garden plans in the book, “How to Grow More Vegetables,” almost to a tee. But, I will give beets one thing – they are beautiful! I just love the deep red color of the bulbs, especially after they’ve been bathed with hose water. I will also say that I do like beet greens. But, if you sauté anything in olive oil and garlic, it has to be good.

This leads me to two points:

  1. Grow what you like to eat. All too often, people grow weird stuff because they go crazy buying seeds (guilty) or because a book says it’s a good companion plant (guilty). 
  2. Share what you don’t like with friends who do! Gardening is contagious. Spread the love of homegrown produce with coworkers, friends, neighbors, and you may see them try planting a few veggies down the road.
Golden Beet

Which does not match the rest? I think it's the Golden beet.

 Luckily, my friend and coworker Emilie, also a robotics nut and blogger, loves beets.

Beet salad

Emilie has been happily taking them off our hands and making great salads.

 

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by pat weddington on June 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Your beautiful garden is hard to beet!

    Reply

  2. Posted by nancygal on June 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Do you think Emilie might share the salad recipe? That looks yummy! (I love beets.)

    Reply

  3. Posted by Andria on June 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Hey Nancy, I just sent this post to Emilie to reply with her salad recipe! It does look delicious. Too bad we can’t mail you the rest of our beets. 😉 I think we’re going to try the Golden one and see how we like it!

    Reply

  4. Posted by nancygal on June 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I wonder how she prepares the beets themselves. Larry’s parents always had a garden and his mom canned beets every year that were perfectly sweet … maybe ‘pickled’ is the word for it, but I’m not sure. I don’t have her recipe, either, but they were so good YOU might even like them! I’m hoping Emilie responds! Thank you!

    Reply

  5. I also have beets coming out of my ears at the moment. Although we’ve been in a CSA for a number of years, it’s definitely an acquired taste for me. I roast them with feta and walnuts and that is pretty popular. That way I have them left over for salad use. I blogged about beets quite a while ago and shared my favorite recipe http://agrigirl.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/love-relationships-tenacity/

    Reply

  6. Posted by emiliekopp on June 24, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Oh my! It seems I’m not the only fan of beets. I just hope a line doesn’t form for Andria’s delicious crop of these little red bulbs, because I was getting used to being her one and only Beet Lady.

    Ok, so here’s what Veggie In the House (http://stephanielo.wordpress.com/) told me when asked about how to prepare beets:

    – They are best when roasted. Boiling them takes out flavor and color. For a typical beet, I’d say roast at 375 for about an hour, or until tender to a fork’s poke. Cover a cookie sheet in foil, throw your beets on, top it off with another sheet of foil and you’re set. Let the beets cool afterwards and then pealing is a cinch. Throw them in a ziploc until you’re ready to use.

    As far as salads are concerned, I play it by ear. My approach is very similar to Tammy’s.

    Since Andria’s beets were so delicious, I didn’t have to do much. I simply slice them and then toss in a very very light vinaigrette of lemon juice, EVOO and a dash of sugar. Garnish with a rich creamy something-or-other; I’ve used goat cheese or a thick greek yogurt in the past. And some toasted nuts (pinenuts, almond slivers, whatever).

    If you want to stretch the salad out, add some fresh greens, like spinach.

    Mmmm. Beet salad…

    Reply

  7. Posted by nancygal on June 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you so much, Emilie! My mouth’s watering! Don’t worry… I’m not going to compete for Andria’s beautiful beets — I live in New Mexico — I’ll have to find a good source out here. Perhaps the local CSA! Thanks to Tammy and Andria, too! I’ll let you know how my beet creation turns out. I hope it’s good.

    Reply

  8. Posted by nancygal on June 26, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Ok… I just had my first ever beet greens! They were really delicious … sauteed in olive oil with onion and garlic. After sauteeing, I garnished with crumbled feta and walnuts and ate them while waiting for my beets to roast. I was too hungry to wait, and since I’m a bachelorette for a day, I’m not hindered by convention. (My husband and daughter are at the famous Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, NM, this weekend for their open water certification dives.) In about an hour I’ll try my first ever roasted organic beets. (First thing I’ve made in the new oven, by the way!) Andria, how was the golden beet?

    Reply

    • Posted by Andria on June 29, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      Nancy, it sounds like you are in beet heaven! Blair and I roasted the Golden beet tonight, and we actually really liked it! It had SUCH a different taste than a traditional red beet. It was so sweet. We were trying to nail down the flavor, but couldn’t quite put a finger on it. We thought maybe it tasted like a really sweet carrot. Anyway, I don’t think I can say I hate beets anymore because I definitely liked the Golden one!

      The Blue Hole sounds awesome. Hope Larry and Jennifer had fun!

      Reply

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