Beets and I don’t get along. I find them too sweet, too chalky, and they have a strange aftertaste. Anna and I had two weeks of beets from our Be Wise Ranch farm share, with no idea what to do with them – she is also not fond of the purple devils. After watching an episode of River Cottage where Hugh makes some beet soup, Anna wanted to try it out. So we did.
River Cottage Beet Soup – Add 1 part chopped onion, 1 part chopped carrot with a bit of olive oil and sweat in a pot. Add 3 parts chopped beets. Just barely cover the whole mix with beef stock. Add salt (unless your stock has some), pepper, and some tabasco sauce for a bit of kick. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Spoon it into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. You can serve it hot or cold, and add a bit of plain yogurt for a nice contrast.
After the success of the beet soup, it was on to the beet greens. Be Wise Ranch always leaves the top greens on the veggies, and I made use of the beet greens by way of slight changes to this recipe. I cooked down a bit of summer sausage, some left over lamb, and an onion in some olive oil. Added 3/4 of a cup of water, a couple table spoons of balsamic vinegar, a large pinch of sugar, salt, pepper, and good sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Let it boil a bit to dissolve the sugar and deglaze the pot. Then added in about four handfuls of roughly chopped beet greens (about 8 beets worth), mixed them in, covered, and let them cook for 8-10 minutes. The beet greens are not unlike spinach or swiss chard and are quite good.
I’m a changed man. It turns out that I don’t hate all beets, but I’m pretty sure the pickled ones still suck.