Beets: All About Them
Love them or hate them, beets have been a part of culinary tradition for centuries! Early humans only ate the greens of beets – the root at that time was thin and fibrous. Beets as we know them, round and bulbous, were cultivated in Europe nearly 500 years ago; the first written record of them dates back to the 16th century.
In the 18th century, a chemist in Berlin discovered how to extract sugar from beets. Today, around 20% of the world’s sugar comes from beets.
- The entire beet plant is edible and the greens taste a bit like chard or spinach.
- Beets’ natural sweetness makes them a wonderful addition to desserts and they pair very well with chocolate!
- The skins of roasted beets slip right off. Wrap beets in foil, roast them for an hour or so at 350 degrees, let them cool slightly, then rub the skin off. Cooked beets will keep in your fridge for 3-5 days.
- Red beets will dye everything that touches them. Use yellow or Chioggia beets when mixing them with other veggies.
HOW TO STORE
Remove the greens from the beetroot. Store both, unwashed, in plastic bags in the refrigerator. The greens will keep for 3-5 days and the beetroot will keep for months. Cooked, peeled beets that are wrapped well can be frozen for 8-10 months.
3 WAYS TO PREPARE
- Grate them and toss them into salads! They pair nicely with carrots, apples, and kohlrabi. Dress with a lemon vinaigrette.
- Roast them and keep them in the fridge. Add the roasted beets to salads or quickly warm them in butter or oil for an easy side dish.
- Sauté shallots in a bit of olive oil, add grated beets, and cook for a few minutes. Then add chopped beet greens and cook until tender. Season with fresh lemon or your favorite vinegar.