Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Beets my heart...

Yes, I ripped that title straight from a side dish at Tupelo Honey.

Anyway, beets! I freaking love them. I think that beets are highly under-appreciated. I guess some of you folks feel like they taste like dirt. Am I right? Maybe it's an acquired taste. I felt the same way when I had my first taste of Scotch. Now, just ask me what I think of a great Scotch.
I grew a whole slew of golden beets this year, and made sure to pull them out of the ground when they were still young and tender. The flavor stays mild that way, the flesh more tender. Yum!
Beets have to be one of my favorite things to grow, next to a wide assortment of crazily-colored tomatoes. There's just something cool about yanking them from the earth -- kind of like buried treasure.
Beets are great roasted, but who wants to roast things in August? Ugh, trust me, I'm still roasting chickens, making stocks and all of those other things that turn my non-air conditioned house into a steam bath. However, if I can cook with as little heat as possible, I'm a happy girl. I already run hot as blazes. Yes, yes -- the fiery sort indeed.
In the summer, I love my beets marinated then enjoyed raw in a salad with fresh mint and some goat cheese. Nothing finer. There's something about crunching into marinated beets that makes me feel like I am consuming something uber-healthy, straight from the earth, packed with energy-giving nutrients. Well, that is pretty much the case.

So, to make a marinated beets salad, you want to ideally start with young, fresh beets. I love golden beets because they don't stain the ever-living bejeesus out of everything.

Here's what you need:
beets, peeled and chopped smallish
green onion
salt and pepper
goat cheese
seasoned rice wine vinegar
high-quality olive oil

Simply add your chopped beets, a small amount of mint, sliced green onion and a healthy dash of rice wine vinegar to a bowl. Drizzle in some oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Sound easy? It is. How much of everything? Oh, who cares. Just toss it in there. Let it marinate for a while.

Then, spoon your salad over some fresh lettuce leaves. Garnish with other raw veggies, like the cucumbers in the picture, fresh from my garden. (please use your own cucumbers -- you may have the ones from my garden only if you ask nicely). Finish with a sprinkle of goat cheese and garnish with a sprig of mint.

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