|Yellow and Rose Sunshine Beets|
Recipe by Teresa Harrigan from Community Gardens of Santa Cruz
For Father’s Day I was going to make a Polish beets recipe in honor of my late Dad’s heritage, but found a long-forgotten cookbook with a more cheery and nontraditional idea. The Vegetable Gardener’s Cookbook was published in 1979 by Community Gardens of Santa Cruz, to which I belonged at the time. Back in those days, many county parks set aside land to allow redwood forest dwellers and urbanites to rent a space that they could farm. I get sad when I see these spaces paved over today. According to the local paper, demand for such plots is even greater today.
|Well-used Cookbook from Years Past|
Community Gardens member Teresa Harrigan contributed this recipe, and must have had a bumper crop of beets, because the original recipe calls for 4 cups—about 4 bunches! I have cut the recipe in half (and made a few ingredient proportion adjustments). We had one bunch of red beets and one bunch golden and rose beets. I wanted to feature each color and taste at a different meal, so I kept them separated. Prior experience has shown that if these are cooked together, all the beets turn red, as does the sauce and everything else. I used a microplane zester to grate the orange zest—helpfully exact in grating just the orange zest and not the bitter white peel.
As usual, I have served the beets with their steamed greens. A bit of salt on both the greens and the sunshine beets (at the table) enhances their flavor. You might also want to try a bit of balsamic vinegar on the greens if the taste seems too strong.
Thank you, Teresa, wherever you are! Lovely recipe.
|Red Sunshine Beets|
2 bunches medium beets, about 2 cups cooked and sliced
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water from cooking the beets
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 ½ tsp. honey
¼ tsp. salt (grey salt is most flavorful)
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. grated orange zest (approximately—just use one orange)
It is up to you whether to peel the beets before or after cooking (I peel them before). Cook beets by boiling in water until tender when pierced with fork, about 30 – 45 minutes. Slice into about 3/8 inch slices. REMEMBER to reserve 2 tbsp. of the cooking water for the sauce.
|Stir in Butter & Orange Zest, then add Sliced Beets|
Mix cornstarch with beet cooking water and stir till smooth. Stir in orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, and salt. Heat to boiling over medium high in saucepan. Cook until clear and thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add beets, butter, and orange zest, and heat till beets are heated through.