I Love Beets

My husband doesn't like beets. He doesn't like them to the point that he has to tell me he doesn't like them each time I bring them into the house. And then he tells me every day they are in the house that he doesn't like them. He disassembles dinner asking, "are there beets in here?"

I love beets.

I loved beets when the only kind I knew came from a can. I don't even know how old I was when I first saw a real beet. I was older still when I first cooked one. All the scrubbing and peeling to cook them has quite frankly made beets in a can seem like not a bad idea. I know they taste better fresh but they've been such a stubborn root to prepare. Until now.

I've learned to simply cook the whole beet in a pot of boiling water. I know, where have I been? It feels like I'm getting away with something it's so easy. With a little coaxing the peels slide off leaving the pure beet jewel. I happily stop right there and eat it. Maybe a dash of salt but it's not required.

Then I saw that Doughgirl was canning beets and I wanted to can pickled beets too. So I did.

And I served them for dinner last night making noises of deliciousness.

"Do you want to taste the brine," I asked my husband.

He dipped his spoon, tasted. Went back for a quarter teaspoon. A little more. I was silent.

"Okay," he said. "I'll taste one."

I hadn't said a word. I was holding my breath. I wanted him to like them but I didn't want him to like them too; I'd only canned three jars.

He put a beet in his mouth. Chewed. No spitting. He didn't exclaim. But before he'd finished swallowing, he was reaching for another.

I found the recipe at Saving the Season. Cider vinegar, brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon, cloves. It's a keeper!

19 comments:

SOEWNEARTH said...

You are going to absolutely love this recipe. I know I did.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/may/22/beetroot-fritters-yoghurt-recipe-ottolenghi
enjoy!!!

Tracee said...

I can't believe he ate a beet!!!! I had mentioned taking some to B.M. last year and I got quite an earfull....
I roast all my beets. Trim the greens so there's only a couple inches left, scrub em, put them single layer in a roasting pan (casarole dish, whatever), cover (kind of steams them), and bake at 350 for an hour or so, depending how many beets are in there. Test them with a fork or knife. Skins slip off easily.

Kumi said...

Thanks for sharing! I also avoided them thinking it was more work, but your post has given me hope!

doughgirl said...

Yay for beets! My parents used to eat pickled beets on their salads when I was a kid...I always remember thinking: YUCK. Now of course I eat beets whenever I can. Pickling especially makes them taste like candy! I'm definitely checking out this recipe too...

Colleen

Kale for Sale said...

Soewnearth - Thank you for the recipe. I love that you substituted, improvised, followed the recipe loosely. That more often than not tastes the best. And pretty buttons over at your place. The internet is a wonderous place.

Tracee - I knew you would laugh. Thank you for commenting about it. You are as amazed as I was. Really, he liked them. And thanks for the roasting tip. No peeling. Yes!

Kumi - Oh, good. And I feed the beet water I boil them in to the plants in the back yard. All that redness has got to be good for something. Enjoy.
(I always smile when you leave a comment and those two pretty cats are there.)

Doughgirl - My aunt was the beet eater in our family. I thought she was exotic. She would have loved these. Thanks again for the inspiration.

Joan said...

Beautiful, mouth-watering photos (and I'm not a "beet person" either)...and a fun article. Thanks for sharing!

asonomagarden said...

Just before I got to the end, I thought, has he had them pickled? It's our favorite way to eat them.

agrigirl said...

Cute story. We have exactly the same issue with beets. I've taken to roasting them with walnuts and feta and that seems to go pretty well.

Lara Alexander said...

I love beets and other beet lovers. I have been eating my first beet harvests of the year, and eating the thinnings of my second planting (third planting coming soon!). I am going to have to try your recipe, if I ever have enough to have some left over from fresh eating. I boil, steam, roast, or grate raw!

Mia @ agoodhuman said...

Oh Yeah. I love beets. Like you, I grew up with them coming from a can but for the last year I've been growing them year round. They are the easiest vegetable to grow and we eat the leaves in all sorts of recipes while we are waiting for the root to grow.

Kale for Sale said...

Joan - Beets are like that, aren't they, either you are a beet person or you aren't. I'm holding out hope for you though because you think they look mouth watering. That's the beginning.

a sonoma garden - You were on the money. He'd never had them pickled before. I actually don't know if I had either.

agrigirl - That sounds so delicious. I'm buying more beets tomorrow! Thank you.

Lara - Try the recipe and just eat them. They don't have to be canned. Thanks for reminding me to grate them.

Mia - That's fabulous that you have them growing year round. Eating the greens always makes me feel a bit like popeye. I've been using the beet water too on the pots of peppers on the deck.

Audrey said...

My husband won't touch beets either, which is a shame because I love them so. I'll have to try your pickles. Maybe that will be the trick ...

Kale for Sale said...

Audrey - Let me know if the pickling works at your house too. My husband's eating them wasn't a one time deal. He's still eating them!

Joanna said...

I love my beets raw in a 'green smoothie' that of course is no longer green but beautiful pink! Add lemons to greatly improve the taste. Besides the bananas, juice concentrate and whatever else you throw in!

Jenn said...

I love beets - and turnips and parsnips - they are all so much yummier when I cook them than when I had them (overcooked) as a child.

Last night I made up beets cut into 3/4" thick wedges, laid flat in a cast iron skillet drizzled with olive oil, topped with thick round slices of red onion and and whole garlic cloves, roasted in 450 oven - til the pan sizzled and the beets were golden on one side, then flipped everything around for a bit longer til it started to stick - threw in a splash of dry sherry - mixed it around and back in the oven til it reduced. Super super yum.

Nature ID said...

I don't know how I found your blog, but I love this post! As a kid, canned beets were only eaten by Grandma and our funny Aunt Margie. Now, after a trip to New Zealand, we love pickled beets in hamburgers, much better than cucumber pickles. I imagine they're so much better homemade than from a can (like green beans and spinach). So, are beets messy to cook and do they stain everything red in your kitchen?

Kale for Sale said...

Joanna - You got me; beets and bananas. I'm sure it's one of those things that is delicious but you have to taste it and not think about it. Thanks for stretching my idea of what's possible!

Jenn - Yep. Yum. And it sounds so easy. Thank you.

Nature ID - I can't wait to have a hamburger now and put beets on it. That's awesome. I'm glad you found your way here to tell me. I haven't stained anything yet with the beets. There's red water/juice on the counter and stove, towels, but so far nothing has stained. They're actually quite beautiful to work with.

dc said...

My husband is also a beet hater, he claims they smell like dirt and taste like dirty socks. Here is the link for a beet salad recipe everybody (except my husband) loves: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Beet-and-Goat-Cheese-Salad-with-Pistachios-107426

I've modified it by using walnut oil instead of pistachio oil in the vinaigrette. Adding lemon zest, a few more pistachios and just making one big salad cradled in a bed of greens. It's a delicious salad!

The Jersey Homesteader said...

I was intrigued to read your post on beets. They are one of my favorite foods, as I love the sweetness they provide. Like you though my husband hates them. Keep growing them as they are highly nourishing for you. I would say one the best vegetables.
I also love the different colors of beets. So glad I ran across your blog.