We pick up our CSA share every other week, and I think that we improve slightly each time using up the bounty of produce. I also use the term “we” loosely, as my husband is usually at work and takes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch that are definitely not from any farm.
A problem “child” from the CSA has been getting worse throughout the season as we acquire more and more:
Beets. My husband’s arch-nemesis. He grudgingly states that he would rather eat Brussels sprouts than beets. I wish you could see his face during that statement.
We also get a lot of these bad boys:
Carrots have never been a favorite of mine. I’ll sometimes eat them in dishes where they are not the focus, but they’re not at the top of my list.
Both beets and carrots, however, are really good for you. There is also a stash of them in my fridge, so I am making a concerted effort to find enjoyable ways to prepare them. I’ve used the carrots in stir fry, chili, soup, and salad. Beets have also gone in salad and on pizza, but the ways I have liked them the most is not disguised in another dish, but on their own and dressed with a flavorful sauce.
Then I saw a recipe that intrigued me — warm beet and carrot salad. My preference is always for warm foods and the dressing is what sealed the deal.
Boiled beets are chopped and tossed with steamed carrots, fresh chopped mint, a little clarified butter, and maple syrup. Sign me up. The most time-consuming part of the recipe is boiling the beets which could be done ahead of time and reheated.
This is another recipe from Yoga Kitchen: Recipes from the Shoshoni Yoga Retreat, a cookbook my friend naively lent me which she may never see again. One of the ingredients is ghee, or clarified butter. You can clarify your own butter by gently simmering butter in a saucepan until the milk solids have separated from the fat which can then be skimmed off the surface. The remaining clarified butter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Ghee can also be purchased at Asian or good grocery stores. The lack of milk solids make ghee a good cooking fat to use at high temperatures.
The sweet and refreshing combination of syrup and mint with a hint of ghee made those nefarious beets into vegetable candy. If you’re suspicious of those staining root vegetables this is a recipe that could convert you. If not, send them to me so I have an excuse to make this recipe yet again.
Awkward note: If you have not eaten many beets before, their deep red color is water soluble and will travel through your digestive system. Just a heads up. It can be alarming if you’re not expecting such a dramatic result.
Warm Carrot and Beet Salad
Adapted from Yoga Kitchen
4 large beets
2 carrots, peeled and sliced on a diagonal
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon ghee (see above)
1.) Scrub the beets and trim any stems off the tops. Place them in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until fork-tender. Drain and let cool slightly until the beets can be handled.
2.) In a small bowl mix together mint, maple syrup, and ghee.
3.) Steam the carrots until tender. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them (the skin should slip off easily). Dice the peeled beets and toss them with the carrots. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Serve warm.