As previously reported, we recently joined a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We had a couple of reasons for doing so, but one of them was to push ourselves into cooking with things we don’t normally buy.
Challenge number one: Beets.
Neither of us had any experience with buying and/or cooking beets, so when basket #1 arrived with two of them we did what reasonable people do: we left them on the counter for days hoping they would prepare themselves to be eaten.
This did not work, and eventually we took to the interwebs to look for creative solutions, and I was surprised to find there are lots of amazing-looking dishes to be made using beets.
Not really following any one of them in particular, the beet preparation went like this:
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Goat cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Sliced bread
- Heat a small frying pan with a little olive oil
- Trim the skin off of the beets (beware, this will make your hands and your cutting surface red)
- Cut beets into small cubes
- Sauté on low heat until the beets are tender (about 40 minutes)
- Remove tender beets and add a few heavy dashes of salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- Use an immersion blender (or food processor or blender) to purée until smooth
- On a piece of sliced bread, add a splash of balsamic vinegar, spread a hearty portion of goat cheese, and then spread the beet purée
- Consume and repeat step seven until you run out of one or all of the ingredients
- (Several recipes suggest wrapping the beets in aluminum foil and baking in place of sautéing, and I’m sure there are merits to both.)
The end result is pictured above and turned out surprisingly well.
The moral of the story is get out there and try cooking with something new, even (or especially) if you don’t know where to start with it. It doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated, but playing with a new ingredient can open the door to a variety of other ways to prepare it.
Now I’m actually looking forward to the next time beets show up in the basket so we can make something crazy, like beet and goat cheese ravioli.