Vegetable: all, or a part of, the vegetative growth organs of a plant; i.e. the roots, stems, leaves, and/or flowers
Taproot: big, fat, monstrous root
Please recall that I am both a biologist and a doctor. These are technical definitions, people. I am not making this up.
The carrot is probably the world’s most infamous and universally loved taproot, but me? I can take em or leave em. If it’s freshly dug and rinsed of mud, I’m all over carrots. But those things you buy at the store? No thanks.
Half the time, they taste like nothing, 49% of the time they taste bitter, and maybe 1% of the time, you get a sweet, crisp carrot. But those are what we math nerds like to call “bad odds.”
Last week, I took my freshmen classes to a local farm, where we got a tour of the chicken barn and the fields and re-paid the farmer for his time by helping him dig up 15 rows of carrots. 15 rows of delicious carrots.
I took a few home and ate them, but I’m already kind of over them.
Another taproot, the beet, is much maligned and vastly under-appreciated by most people. But I am not most people, and I happen to love me some beets.
Pickled, roasted, boiled. Fresh grated and raw, canned, frozen. I’m really not even picky; I’ll eat them however you serve them.
In anticipation of the beets I am (hopefully) going to be getting in my CSA share this winter, I’ve decided to dedicate a full week to beet recipes that I’ve made and posted about. That’s right, kids! A FULL WEEK.
There will be savory, there will be sweet, there will be pickles, there will be soup. There will even be cookies.
Cue the confetti. It’s a party.
In an effort to build anticipation, I can’t give you everything all at once, but I can’t end this post without something beet-y.
So, even though this is should be embarrassing. (It isn’t.) Here is my first ever published beet “recipe”, from my fourth ever blog post, unedited. Raw. First published on December 6, 2009.
We’ll call it “Katie Unplugged.”
I can easily get stuck in ruts when it comes to my food. I find something I like, and then eat a crap-ton of it. (NOTE: crap-ton is an official measurement that falls somewhere between A LOT and butt-load. You’ll just have to trust me on this, since it isn’t officially recognized…yet.)
I had never had kale until a few years ago, and now I can’t get enough. But, I mostly eat it in the form of kale chips like these or these. A few weeks ago, inspiration struck, and I combined beets, kale and pumpkin butter in a cast iron pan and sprinkled it with some pixie dust and magic happened.
Most of my pictures were crap, but I did manage to get a shot of the final, warm, gooey, sweet product:
It was gone much too quickly. So I had another one of these muffins from yesterday. I swear they tasted even better today.
Here’s a “recipe” for what I’ll call Katie’s Christmas Kale, because I love alliteration.
Katie’s Christmas Kale
Serves 1 as a snack or a side dish
1 small beet, cut into 1/4 in cubes
1-2 cups of torn, washed kale (I used 1, but added more at the end, and it still could have had more)
1 T pumpkin butter (I used pumpkin butter I made myself, which is 10000 times better than storebought)
1 squirt maple syrup
cinnamon, if you are a fiend like me
Boil beets until just tender, about 20 min. Drain most of the water and return beets to the pan. Add torn kale, cover and steam for about 3 min. Add pumpkin butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Devour quickly.
What’s your favorite way to eat beets?