|Simple, Colorful, and Healthful|
Recipe from Live Earth Farm
I know that I just advised you in my last post of November recipes to forego the beets and other root veggies until winter, when locavores will be eating plenty of them. But this strategy doesn’t always work if you belong to a CSA and get a box of produce every week that’s chosen by the farm. True that beets will keep for several weeks in the fridge. Also true that they can be large, take up a lot of refrigerator real estate, and resist being compressed into smaller spaces. After a couple of weeks' worth of both red and rose-white beets, my resistance to cooking them wore thin.
Plus I’ve wanted to
try this simple recipe from Live Earth Farm (our CSA) for a long time. CSA member Linda Caplinger sent LEF her
family recipe, which didn’t specify quantities. I’ve quantified the
ingredients, but as Linda says, “there are no fixed amounts,” so feel free to
adjust the simple recipe elements to your taste and to the number of beets that
you have on hand.
|Rose White Beet in Center Weighs 1 Lb.!|
From what I can gather on the internet, this recipe is true to Polish culture because in Poland oregano is paired with beets and vinegar. The recipe differs from the more traditional and much stronger Polish pickled beets, in which white vinegar is boiled with sugar, salt, and sometimes horseradish and poured over beets and onions. The balsamic is lighter and sweeter, and the olive oil makes this dish more like a salad than a pickle. It’s mellow and sweet flavor compliments stronger savory main dishes like Rosemary Chicken with Fennel.
|Marinate Separately or All will Turn Red|
|Cooked Beets Peel Easily with Fingers|
serves 6 - 8
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt
a few grinds of black pepper
1/8 – ¼ tsp. dried oregano
Scrub beets with vegetable brush. Put into a pot and just cover with water. Bring to boil. Turn down heat and simmer until fork can be fairly easily inserted. If beets vary significantly in size or are different types, you might need to remove smaller, yellow, or rose-white beets from the pot before larger and/or red beets are done. Place cooked beets in a pan of cold water and allow to cool just enough to handle.
Slip the skins off the cooked beets. Slice into rounds (or half- or quarter-rounds for larger beets). The original recipe calls for ¼ inch slices, but I made mine larger, from 3/8 inch approaching ½ inch.
While beets are still warm, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano. Immediately pour over beets. Gently toss the beets to coat with dressing.
Allow to marinate 20- 30 minutes, stirring up dressing from bottom of bowl occasionally. Serve at room temperature or chilled. My husband also likes the leftovers heated up.