Beet It: My Adventures at a Farmer's Market

Beet It: My Adventures at a Farmer's Market

Just beet it, beet it, beet it, beet it,
Try to make 'em, you won't be defeated,
Showin' how tasty and nutritious each bite,
It doesn't matter, pickled or roasted is right,
Just beet it, beet it,
Just beet it, beet it.....

My personal ode to beets, to the tune of Michael Jackson's Beat It. I have always loved the taste of pickled beets, but only recently tried my hand at roasted beets after enjoying many a roasted beet salads during a California vacation. They are so easy to prepare, nutritious (high in manganese, potassium, and folate), and swimsuit friendly (an average beet clocks in around 45 calories).

Our little league season officially ended this morning, just in time to stop by the village farmer's market right next to the ball fields and pick guessed it, some fresh beets. Chicagoland farmers markets are in full swing, and Cary's farmers market is going strong in its second season with a variety of offerings from fresh salsas, jams, cheeses, meats, flowers, and produce. Two pleasant surprises I came across this morning were gluten free baked sweet breads and biscotti from Deanne's Desserts in Lake Barrington and granola snack bites from Mentoring Gardens in Harvard, IL. I spoke with the representative from Mentoring Gardens, who explained that the students that are part of the program have been educating themselves about the various gluten free flours, from certified gluten free oats, to millet, tapioca, and garbanzo bean flours. I added those gluten free items to my purchases, along with homemade strawberry vinaigrette salad dressing, tomatoes, corn, and a few stalks of rhubarb for my strawberry rhubarb pie.

So, here is today's lunch. Roasted beet salad with toasted pistachio nuts. Earthy, a little sweet, a little tart. For those of you who can tolerate dairy, sprinkle a little goat cheese on top. Perfect summertime food.

Roasted Beet Salad with Pistachio Nuts

5-6 beets, scrubbed and trimmed
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup roasted pistachio nuts, chopped and toasted
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take a sheet of aluminum foil and place beets on the center of the foil. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold foil over to cover beets, making a sealed pouch. Roast 45-50 minutes until soft. Let cool. Peel off skin and slice into large wedges. Keep beet infused oil from the foil for the dressing.

Pour beet infused oil into a small bowl. Add the cider vinegar and honey, whisking together. Drizzle over sliced beets and sprinkle with toasted pistachio nuts.




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  • I love pickled beets. However, up to now I've been geting them from the jar. Roasted pickles sound delicious.

  • I never discovered beets until I got married. My mother in law grew beets in her vegetable garden and then made a tasty dish of them.
    We soon were growing them too and enjoying a touch of varietyl

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