Sunday, December 17, 2006

Root Vegetables of Winter: Beets

With winter comes a lot of root vegetables like parsnip and turnip. But my all-time favorite are beets. I just love freshly roasted beets that are tender and sweet. And what's great about California beets are that they come in some amazing colors other than the traditional deep red. Today at the farmers market I got three bunches of golden beets for just $3, and they were so beautiful that I paired them with another seasonal ingredient, blood oranges. Beets can be labor-intensive because you have to roast them and then remove the skin, which sometimes can be pretty tough if you didn't roast them just right. That's why sometimes I do just use beets from the can. But when they're as beautiful as the ones I got today, I put in the work to get this great product. For the blood oranges, I also did a quick demo (see below) on how to section them for a nice presentation, especially when using citrus for salads or desserts. Enjoy!

Production note: In the photo above, this is how the beets looked after I lathered them in olive oil but before they went into the oven. Don't think this is how they looked roasted; when they're properly roasted, they'll look blackened and charred. Not a pretty picture. But you want the skin to be black and almost like it's bubbling around the beet, which will make it easier to remove.

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