When cooking all those lovely offerings from your garden, it is hard, no impossible, not to go into rapture about their exquisite taste. It was an unexpected surprise to hear, a few weeks ago, my simple preparations would result in the shock of true conversion status.
Something like this:
I’m referring to beets, and their effects on unsuspecting friends and family. Those unaware of the mighty beet’s persuasive taste.
I didn’t go about this in a subversive way, you understand. WISHING ~ WANTING my unsuspecting prey to change their minds about their tastes in vegetables. It just happened. With smiles and asking for seconds. Two people either without previous history of beets, or without knowledge of how good they can be.
There are two (or three) special ingredients involved, besides the beets themselves – freshly pulled from the garden, and including the greens.
Simply steam the beets and greens (or just the greens, if you’re making, say the balsamic vinegar honeyed beets below) until they are wilted, and the stems are bite-tender. Drain off the steaming water. Add a good lump of quality butter to the pot, the greens, a generous splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper (and a small handful chopped fresh basil if you’ve got it.) Taste, and adjust seasonings. Make sure the buttery, balsamic vinegar flavor is right there on your tongue. It blends sooo beautifully with the earthiness of the beets.
Balsamic – Honeyed Beets
This flavor combination really sings. If you’ve read this far, you’ve really got to try it!
- 6-7 cups quartered small to medium beets
- 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar – approximately
- 1/2 c. honey
To your pot of clean (to peel or leave unpeeled, this I leave to you, as for me, I scrub them and cut off the ends) quartered beets, add water to cover and boil until just tender, letting the water reduce as it boils. Do not drain. Add in a good 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar, and about the same of honey. Lower heat and simmer 7-10 minutes more. Taste a beet. Have the flavors permeated it? If so, either ladle into sterilized jars and seal, then boil in water bath for 10 minutes, or, ladle into jars and simply cool to keep in the refrigerator. I had beets last this way throughout the winter, though I recommend the hot water bath to you.