When the colors of Autumn beg us to return to the golden hues of root vegetables, the first in line to blossom is the beet. From the crimson-red sugar beet to the pink-and-white striped Chioggia, these root vegetables come in a range of stunning, jewel-toned hues. They add a punch of color — and a sweet, mildly buttery flavor when cooked — to just about any course and are at their most tender during the Fall months, peaking in October. To find out how to select, store, and enjoy these versatile veggies, keep reading.
When choosing beet roots at the market, pick small to medium bulbs that are smooth, round, and devoid of any soft spots. Buy beets that are still attached to their stems and leaves; beet tops should appear verdant. Store beets unwashed in a cool place, like the refrigerator crisper, in a plastic bag where they will keep for two to four weeks. To increase storage life, remove the greens, but be sure to leave at least an inch of the stem. Use gloves to prevent staining if that's a concern.
Below, a few serving ideas that simply can't be
- Welcome root vegetables back into your kitchen by tossing skillet-roasted beets with al dente noodles.
- Go for the simplest preparation: roast them. Or, skip the cooking altogether in favor of a shredded salad with raw beets.
- Make a luxuriously smooth soup using golden beets.
- Use beets to add a surprising fluffiness to baked desserts like cupcakes.
- Don't throw away the beet greens! They can be used as a simple garnish, or simmered with aromatics and bacon.
- Avoid ho-hum pasta syndrome with this electric pink beet-and-ricotta rigatoni.
When it comes to these divisive vegetables, where do you stand? What's your favorite way to enjoy beets?
Source: Flickr User danielle scott