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Attributes of the Beet

This deep ruby-colored globe is as delicately flexible to use in your cooking as it is beautiful to behold. The National Garden Bureau has named this “The Year of the Beet.” A justly deserved honor this is!

Beets are an obliging workhorse in the garden. They thrive in a variety of conditions, easily started in spring, after the last frost and not resowed until early August. They prefer slightly acidic soil (pH greater than 6.0) and are fine with a sunny or part-sunny spot.

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Microgreen salad with shredded beets, toasted almonds, crème fraîche, and dried cranberries in an oil balsamic vinaigrette.

Cooking with Beets

Both the leaves and the root are delicious and packed full of nutrients. I love beets roasted with a little olive oil and sea salt, used as one of the essential ingredients of Russian Borscht stew or boiled then tossed with goat cheese, crisp apple wedges in a toothsome salad. Likewise, the greens contribute well to soups, salads, or even smoothies. Because of their high nutritional value, they’ve taken the health-conscious world by storm. You can buy everything from beet pills or juice to beet powder.

Nothing, however, replaces a good old chunk of roasted beet.

Let’s explore together this versatile vegetable. From its humble beginnings all covered with loamy brown dirt to a rich garnet sliver poking out of a meaty braise, let’s celebrate the year of the beet.

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