“And what in the world are you going to do with THOSE?” the older woman was referring to the large bunch of fresh-from-someone’s-garden-this-morning beets I held up at our local Saturday morning farmer’s market.
I assured her that the family would LOVE them for dinner tomorrow night. “Well,” she muttered doubtfully, “If you’re sure…..” She was clearly not sure of any such thing herself.
It turns out that she has never had fresh beets in her LIFE. I am constantly running into people who have never eaten fresh beets and they are all missing out on a treat. I have my mom to thank for my own enthusiasm about beets.
Fixing fresh beets is very simple. First you cut off the tops and boil the beets just about to death. Beets take a long time to cook and you need to watch them to be sure they don’t boil dry and burn. Large beets can take as much as a full hour to cook. They’re done when you can stick a fork in them easily. They won’t be quite as soft as boiled potatoes would be but close.
After they’ve been boiled, the outer skin just slides off of the beets. They are still full of red color, so be careful not to splash them on your clothes. Once you’ve removed the outer skins, cut the beets into 1 inch cubes and return to the pan. Barely heat them through. Toss them with butter, salt, and coarsely ground pepper and serve.
My kids have grown up eating fresh beets and LOVE them. They especially love them because if they eat enough of them, they pee pink. For boys, this is a really special and exciting treat.
The taste of fresh beets is one of the tastes of summer for me.