August 4, 2013

Farmer’s Bounty

A friend stopped by this afternoon with a huge trug of fresh vegetables from the garden! How lucky am I!dinnerFresh carrots, beets, lemon cucumbers, English cucumbers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onions and cherry tomatoes! All waiting for me to make something out of them. Of course, one of the tomatoes didn’t even make 10 minutes before I had to quarter it, sprinkle a little Maldon salt on it and eat it standing over the kitchen sink!

The carrots will be given a good scrub and then eaten as is. My friends don’t use any chemicals on their gardens, and so their food organic.

I think that the cucumber will be used for sandwiches, and maybe for garnishing the classic Pimms & Soda cocktail. The squash and zucchini will be roasted, or used for a lasagna.

The onions will last a while, so I am not worried about them.

I got a quart bag of cherry tomatoes, and I will do what I always do with my excess of those. I cut them in half length-wise, spritz or paint them with a touch of good olive oil, sprinkle them with sea salt and slow cook them in a 200*F oven overnight. The house smells divine as the tomatoes slowly dry out become as sweet as candy. If you want to save them, you can add olive oil to them and refrigerate them in a glass container for use later.

The beets are giving me a bit of a pause. I do like beets, regardless of those ghastly ones we ate as children. I know there’s a great salad with cooked beets and goat cheese, but I’ve never cooked a beet.

Any suggestions? Any favourite recipes for beets?

16 comments:

  1. cut the greens off, wash them drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and garlic cover w/ foil roast them @ 350 for and hour. once they are cool squeeze the skin off slice and enjoy, as they are or add feta and mint!

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  2. I saute the beet leaves in olive oil with sliced garlic, toss with cooked pasta and season with salt and pepper -- no waste. My mom made a beet salad by boiling the beets until tender, peeling and then grating them. She would then fry up a couple diced slices of good bacon and add that with the bacon fat to the beets, along with vinegar, finely chopped raw onion and salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated and serve cool or room temperature. The longer it keeps, the better. I keep mine simple by using olive oil with a touch of sesame oil, any vinegar on hand, salt and pepper, and sometimes fresh herbs from the garden. Some crumbled blue cheese or feta is also good. There are no limitations to what flavors you can add. The salad also works with cooked carrots.

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    1. I have had beet micro-greens and they were amazing. But i hadn't thought of doing anything with the greens!

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  3. Perfect roasting suggestion from the spool of life. Another great salad idea, after roasting is to mix them with ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, pomegranate seeds and feta. A simple vinaigrette and voila:a red hot salad.

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    1. that addition of pomegranate seeds would be a great foil for the other tastes!

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  4. Alice Waters suggests: Preheat oven to 400. Remove tops. Leave a bit of stem. Wash thoroughly and put in baking pan with splash of water. Cover tightly with foil, bake 45 mins to hour until they can be pierced easily with sharp knife. Uncover and let cool. Peel beets, cut off tops and tails. Cut into halves or quarters. Sprinkle generously with vinegar (my preference is good balsamic) and season with salt and pepper. Do not add oil (a good olive oil, of course) until beets have sat about 1/2 hour and had chance to absorb vinegar. Add oil sparingly. Adjust seasoning. Beets are now ready to be combined with other ingredients and place in salads or antipasto plates. Personally, I can eat them right out of the bowl just like this, but do like them slightly chilled. Love the golden beets this way, and have tried the chioggia when I can get them during the summer from the little organic farmers around. Hope Alice doesn't mind my passing along her cooking method (from "Chez Panisse Vegetables"). P.S. Since they contain vinegar, they will keep in the refrige for quite some time.

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  5. thinly sliced on a mandolin and then marinated in vinegar and olive oil or roasted is delicious on its own. love the first pic - looks like a dutch still life!

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  6. I only like beets that are cold with vinegar,olive oil + onion. A childhood hang up! xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. I am thinking that might be a way to go!

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  7. My Cajun friend made a Beet and potato salad - cut beets and potatoes into the same size chunks and boil separately until they are both the same doneness-fork tender- Toss each each in a good vinaigrette while hot- let cool and combine right before serving- add more dressing as needed-

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  8. I like the taste of beets, so I simply boil them like potatoes. The skins just slip right off. I toss them with a little butter and salt and eat warm. I usually save some for later and eat them cold. I've always wanted to do something with the water after boiling the beets because it is the most gorgeous color. Dye some fabric maybe? What a bounty your friends delivered!

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  9. This is probably my favorite time of the year for food - all of the goodness at the farmer's market is bliss. The slow-cooking tomatoes is something I never thought of, I have copied it to try the next time we have an abundance of them. :)

    Happy smiles at you,
    tp

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