I was recently reading an article by someone complaining that the White House garden had no beets in it...and then, beets arrived in my organic box delivery yesterday. I had never served my family beets before. My daughter thought they were strange-looking because of their hairy roots. I really didn't know what to do with them, so I treated them like potatoes - such an Idaho thing to do! I peeled and diced them, tossed them with a little olive oil and coarse salt and roasted them at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes.
Here's how to do beets: First, all you have to do is wash and scrub them a little with a green pad or vegetable brush, but you need not take a lot of time or care to do this. Then place them in a pot with just enough water to cook them (they do not have to be covered like potatoes; I'll tell you why later). Bring them to a boil for about a minuted and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes. Test them after about 25 minutes. A fork should be able to penetrate them but you don't want soft, mushy beets; you want them cooked but firm. Now this is the fun part: After they are cooked, keep your cold water tap running and rub your hand over each beet under the running tap and the skins slip right off as does the "hairy tail" (you don't want to eat a "hairy tail."); you just pull/snap the tail off as well as the top "plug" where you cut off the tops (I hope you kept the tops and boiled them like spinach). Once the beets have been cleaned like this, refrigerate them and the next day slice them and pour a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Marvelous! And the beet water: I pour it into a mug with a little salt and drink it as I a warm drink. The less water you used, the stronger the beet drink. This is very healthy for you. Don't pour it down the drain.
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