|Right Food for the Season - Late Summer|
|Written by Jon Ross-Wiley|
Beets. Never liked them as a child. Cold, hot with butter and salt...Borscht? No, thank you.
Now, however, I can't get enough. While the taste and texture of beets have definitely won me over, I really believe my new crush on beets has everything to do with their amazing color.
Go to the farmers' market and buy a nice bunch of beets. They should still be dirty...fresh from the ground. When you get home give them a wash, and you'll start to see some of the wonderful color creeping through. Finally, start to peel the skin. As that first pass of the peeler takes off the skin, the vibrant "beet red" just pops. If you like to entertain, or just like to have a well-plated dinner, this color should get you pretty excited.
I went to Allandale Farm the other day and just stood in the produce section. While robust in its offerings, the square footage is small, so I was able to stay almost stationary and find inspiration. I grabbed some beets. They were the given. Now, what to do with them? I started to think presentation. What colors would work here? A few moments later, I had two red beets, two golden beets, about a dozen garlic scapes, and one cubanelle pepper in my hands. Red, yellow, green...beautiful.
Below is what was on my plate hours after leaving Allandale. Farm to fork, gotta love it.
2 red beets
Slice the red and golden beets into 1/4 inch slices and quarter the pepper. Brush all produce with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a hot grill, starting with the beets as they will take a bit longer to cook through. After the beets have been on the grill for about 8 minutes, flip them over, and then add the peppers and garlic scapes. Close the lid on the grill and let cook for about 3 minutes. Check the scapes often as they can burn easily. Once all vegetables are cooked, place the peppers and scapes on a cutting board and dice. Stack the beet slices as high as3 or 4 beets high, and finish the plate with the garlic scape/pepper relish and, if your palate so desires, red pepper flakes. One stack makes a nice side dish or appetizer. Depending on the size of the beets and the actual width of your slices, you will be able to make about 4-6 stacks with the above ingredients.