Last night I was in line at the grocery store placing my items on a conveyor belt when a voice behind me said, “What’s THAT?” After pointing to a few things, she replied in a rather curious but disturbed voice again said, “NO, that THING. What is that round, dirty thing?” Noticing a child peek around from behind her, I smiled, “OH! It’s a beet.” She was silent. “Have you ever tried eating a beet?” She quickly replied, “I tried a beet once and I.DID.NOT. like it.” I picked the beet up and brought it a little closer to her. “You know, I bet you would like it if you roasted it.” I went on to explain how to do such. “Huh,” she said…”Maybe, I will try them again.”
Every time I enjoy one of these, I weep a little for me as a child. I wasn’t exposed to beets. No one ever offered me one. The first time I tried a beet was in my late teens. I decided to be adventurous at the salad bar and plop one on my plate. I was naturally drawn to it’s bright color although there was no happy ending here. The beet was pickled in a jar of some sort of vinegar concoction. No, Folks… The beet did not go on.
It wasn’t until many years later (a marriage, a house, a couple kids, etc.) that I was participating in a community garden club that the topic of beets came up. (Yes, we had an entire conversation based off beets.) One person chimed in about how they simply grill, slice them open and enjoy. Another person shared how the leaves are actually quite tasty adding the many nutritional benefits of consuming beets. I stood back, beet red, dropped my gloves (you knew it was serious now), “Really?” I got to the root of my woo’s and picked up a few beets the next time I was at the grocery store.
They were right. I grill my beets whole, for about 45-minutes (450-degrees). Simply peel the skin off and enjoy. By pass the bottled beets or even the ones that come in the refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s. It’s just not the same. Fresh is best.
Here is a recipe for beets and their leafy greens. Do you have a different way of preparing beets? Please share! I would love to give your recipe a try.
Click here to learn about the history, health benefits and nutritional facts of eating beets.