There’s this list of vegetables that most people won’t even try because popular culture have vilified them as being gross, taste-less and even painful to eat. I would say the list consists of a dozen or so harmless (and actually tasty) vegetables:
- Brussel Sprouts
Now while I agree with spinach being on this list (cooked or raw it tastes like grass) everything else on this list I have cooked and been able to make pretty tasty! This week I am going to tackle the beets. When I went to buy the beets I noticed that I could buy just the red root part or a bunch of beets with the greens still on them. While struggling to shove all of the beet greens into a produce bag I started to regret my decision to get (and try to cook) the beet greens but they were actually the highlight of my beet experience.
The first caveat to beets that I discovered wast that they are really hard to peel. I started off with a knife and then decided it would be best for my appendages if I used a vegetable peeler that took longer but has protective guards on all sharp blades. Beets are tough, round and once the skin is off, very slipper. The second caveat is that they turn your hands, counter, knife and cutting board is dark shade of pink (obviously I was using red beets). Don’t worry…by the time I was done with the dinner dishes the pink was gone on all surfaces including my hands so I would just suggest skipping the dishwasher that night and wash everything the old-fashioned way!
After I chopped the beets into small cubes (they will cook faster if they are smaller) I coated them in olive oil and garlic powder. I looked up a bunch of recipes that call for a ton of butter and salt but what’s the point of eating something really healthy if you’re going to douse it with butter and salt? Other recipes also called for other spices but I would say a beet is like any other vegetable; once it is cooked, you can add any of your favorite spices to make it more tailored to your tastes. I am a garlic lover so decided garlic and olive oil was enough. I decided that straight on beets was not going to be the best way to tackle this dirty root so I combined it with chopped up carrots.
There are multiple types of preparations for beets (steaming, boiling, sauteing…) but I chose roasting because I love when vegetables get crunchy on the outside! So I put the beets and carrots on a baking sheet (no need to grease the baking sheet because the beets and carrots have enough oil on them to keep them from sticking) and roasted them for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, taking them out a couples times to move them around and flip some of the bigger pieces.
While those cooked in the oven I spent a great deal of time washing the beet greens because the Internet said they would be really gritty because beets are ground root vegetables. Mine seemed pretty clean but I don’t like eating dirt so I cleaned them really well and chopped up the leaves and red stems. Then I just sauteed them with olive oil, onions and garlic. It looks like a lot of greens in the beginning but they wilt up so fast that it turned out to be just enough for 3 meals.
Roasted beets are alright (I kind of think they taste like dirty). When I try making them again I am going to add some hot suace to the olive oil and garlic powder to give them a little more flavor but the beet greens were my favorite. Sauteed garlic beet greens are SO GOOD! The olive oil and garlic wonderfully compliment the earthy, bitter flavor of the greens! I definitely like beet greens better than beets…too bad you can’t buy beet greens without beets!