Monday, July 26, 2010

Beet It

This is not a beet.

Beets get a bad rap. It's the unfortunate fault, I believe, of the image above and also of pickling. For me, there is nothing more sweet, gorgeous and delicious then a lighly boiled beet. The vibrant color of both golden and red varieties make me want to cook only in the name of visual appeal.
My Beet Love ignited with an insalate I ate at Fritti in Atlanta, Ga., called Bietole e Mele (Roasted Beets, Granny Smith Apples, arugula, toasted hazelnuts, lemon and olive oil). I don't joke when I say beets are sweet, and completmented by the sour apples and sharp arugula...MAN.

The journey continued when I was visiting my grandpa in Butler, Pa. - yes, home of Night of the Living Dead. I stopped at a small farmers market in the neighboring town Mars. The beets this man was selling had literally been pulled from the ground an hour prior, causing me to practically jump for joy at the amount of dirt caked on these fresh red beauties. All it took was a good scrub (no peeling or cutting), some boiled water and enough time to get the beets fork tender to enjoy some truly scrumptious (and plain, might I add) veggies.

Now, this blog entry is about not only the value of fresh, local veggies, but also about how much your food experience can improve if you just explore the wonderful world of vegetables.

Enter Spaghetti Squash...

Now, maybe if you are a mother you already know about this miraculous and mysterious member of the squash family (apparetly commonly used to fool young children into eating vegetables). Spaghetti squash looks fairly normal from the outside, but after its cooked, the insides just peel apart into spaghetti-like strands. The flavor is fairly mild and with a bit of spaghetti sauce and parmesan you might even be convinced to trade in your typical carb-fare with this vegetable treat.

Now make it a meal!

I combined my squash and beets meal with mini portobello burgers, featured before on this blog yet this time cooked in the oven, and a small beet, radish and ginger dressing salad. These choices were inspired by my first trip to the Dekalb Farmers Market, a true wonder to behold for anyone who enjoys food. We paired it with Strong Arms wine from Australia which was cheap, yummy and had a really neat graphic design on the label.

A few secret veggies lovers:
You might even entice a sly cat to visit with smells you'll create
Be sure to enjoy your veggies with a sweet pup with eyes that deserve a few scraps from the table

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