Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Study of Beets - Part One

Check below for the recipe for this yummy beet tart!

In the late spring I plan to have a poll on the blog. I’m going to ask you to pick one of three books to be featured each of the 25 weeks of the regular CSA season. Since beets seem to be the “uhhh” vegetable of Vegetable Box #2, I thought I’d use them to sample each of the books I’d like to feature in the upcoming season.

Book #1 is “Produce” by Brad Matthews and Paul Wigsten
This is the textbook on produce for the Culinary Institute of America. I thought it would be fun to learn about one vegetable each week in depth. This book has descriptions of each vegetable, how it can be used in cooking, storage information, and nutritional information.

In “Produce” we learn from Matthews and Wigsten that BEETS (pg. 90) are closely related to chard and spinach. The beet greens can be used, and should be done so in the same manner chard and spinach are used. Beets have a very high sugar content and are the sweetest vegetable available.
Applications listed for beets are
• Boil
• Roast
• Pickle
• Cream
• Grate raw
• Puree for soup

The first thing I learned from this book was the high sugar content of beets. It was probably that same week I saw the idea for using beets to sweeten a red velvet cake. So here is one of my favorite all time blog recipes – Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes

I wanted to share another recipe that highlights the sweetness of beets. I made these as part of dinner- not a great application, but they would make a fabulous appetizer for a party or potluck.

Beet, Cheddar, and Apple Tarts

The only thing I didn’t do was cut the puff pastry into rounds. I thought square was just fine and didn’t waste any of the dough.

Here is a bonus link. The Cooking Channel had an article on their blog about beets.

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