Crops & Varieties: Beets
For the greens, use as you would any other greens. Keep in mind that beets greens are fairly perishable, so plan to cook them within a few days. Their red color makes a splash in dishes that are otherwise only green.
Try tossing the greens into a salad or blanching (for 2-3 minutes) and quickly sautéing for pasta dishes, and with other grain dishes or a refreshing side dish.
Raw, roasted, baked (in foil), steaming or boiled beets are great. Boiling is easiest but roasting is the optimum method for bringing out the beet’s natural sugars. When roasting use a high heat (ideally about 400-450 degrees, if you are already using your oven at a lower temperature, to prepare something else more finicky, and want to slide some beets in at 350, so be it). Place the beets in a pan on a bed of salt or in inch of water and cover the pan with foil. Size will determine cooking time so use a fork to check tenderness. Rubbing an old towel or scouring pad on the roasted beet is an easy way to slip the skins off (hint: either use gloves or give your hands a light coating of oil if you don’t want to end up with magenta-tinged hands).
Fantastic pickled. Many beets need to be partially peeled, as their tops are often rough and thick. Once cooked, they store well in the fridge for arounds a week.
If they came with greens on top, separate roots from greens right away, as the greens will draw sugars from the beets and cause them to go bad quickly. Make sure to leave about an inch of stem, as cutting into the beet itself will cause the color to bleed and the root to go bad more quickly.
Store greens like most other greens, wrapped in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag in your fridge’s crisper drawer, and only wash when you are about to use them.
Beets themselves are a great long-storing root vegetable. Keep them in a cool, dry part of your house (an unheated closet or basement area that isn’t too damp); if kept cool (or cold), they can stay in great shape for many months (including over the winter!).
Don’t be afraid of pickling! Once you get started, you’ll never stop. It’s a great way to keep many types of produce through the winter. See the recipe below for pickled beets, which are delicious.
From From Asparagus to Zucchini: Beet Soup
From Saving the Season: Pickled Beets three ways (Page down for recipes)
From Farmer John's Cookbook: Beet and Carrot burgers
Cooking with Michele: Balsamic Roasted Beets and Onions
|Baking:||40-50 mins at 450° for whole individually wrapped|
|Boiling:||20 for baby; 30-40 mins for medium; 60 mins for large|
|Grilling:||15-20 mins for slices|
|Microwaving:||12 mins for 1 lb of small; 22 min for med-large|
|Roasting:||50-90 mins at 350-400°|
|Sauteing:||4-8 mins for grated|
|Steaming:||10-12 for cubed; 20 for baby; 25-30 mins for medium; 50-70 mins for large|