From the Land 1/25

food for thoughtcauliflower, carrots, I’itoi onions, spaghetti squash, tender greens, choice of herb (dill, shingiku, or cilantro), lettuce heads, and beets (golden and red)!

veg of the week
tendergreens: Brassica rapa var. perviridis or komatsuna

This versatile green is otherwise known as “Japanese mustard spinach” (or Komatsuna) because it is actually a cross between mustard greens and spinach! It is most commonly grown in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and is usually stir-fried, pickled, boiled and added to soups, or used fresh in salads. I can’t help but think of a delicious wrap using these huge leaves as the wrap itself! All parts of the plant can be eaten, and will easily substitute for any Asian green in a recipe. You could even pickle it in the leftover liquid from last week’s radishes and beets!

Not surprisingly, tendergreens are rich in calcium and fiber (as are other greens), and vitamins A, K, B2, and C. Eating with fish increases the absorption of the calcium, making it especially beneficial for bone health.

To store raw tendergreens, wrap in newspaper (or paper bag) and put in fridge. Best if eaten within 3 days. They can also be slightly boiled before storing in the refrigerator. When cooking, the color can be preserved by quickly boiling and then submerging in ice water. Oil also changes the color, so keep dressing off until just before serving.

greenwashing
We mentioned “greenwashing” a couple weeks ago in our article about eggs. Greenwashing is becoming increasingly common as businesses look for more ways to exploit our collective environmental conscience, and even the savvy customer can find herself falling for some of these marketing ploys.
According to Wikipedia, greenwashing is “a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that a company’s policies or products are environmentally friendly”. Examples range from gas and oil companies giving the impression that their practices are somehow good for the environment, the use of words like “green technology”, the rampant – but unverified and unregulated – green labels on food (like natural, free-range, wholesome), to misinformation, irrelevant information, and flat-out lies. TerraChoice Environmental Marketing has identified what they call the “six sins of greenwashing”:
  • the hidden trade-off: claims are based on a single environmental attribute while ignoring other considerations (recycled content, for instance)
  • no proof: an unsubstantiated or unverifiable claim (such as claims of cost savings)
  • vagueness: a claim that is so broad or vague that it essentially loses its meaning (great examples are “chemical-free”, “non-toxic”, “green”, “natural”)
  • irrelevance: an environmental claim that is truthful but completely irrelevant (references to CFCs, for instance, which have been banned in the US for almost 30 years, as if this qualifies as a unique advantage)
  • the lesser of two evils: when “organic” or “green” labels are put on something that is not environmentally responsible in the first place (think cigarettes, or pesticides)
  • fibbing: environmental claims that are just plain false

Confusing? For sure. And why is this an important issue to pay attention to? The “ethical consumer” makes choices that reflect the idea that our purchases are an extension of our commitment to environmental, societal and personal health. We’ve all heard the phrase “vote with our dollar” – we walk our talk by supporting businesses and products that are environmentally friendly, reduce waste and water use, and promote workers’ rights. On the other hand, buying green can be merely a way to assuage consumer guilt, and greenwashing is a great way for businesses to exploit this internal conflict. Remember, personal choice and purchasing power is only a small part of where the responsibility lies for a healthy environment. But our choices can support those businesses that are honest and verifiable in their products.

So what can we do as consumers? The logical rule-of-thumb is that if the company provides a product or service that is hard to imagine being environmentally friendly, you’re probably right.
  • Regulations regarding environmental safety and responsibility abound – all we have to do is recognize them. Look for independently verified ecolabels you know: USDA Certified Organic, EnergyStar, EcoLogo, or GreenSeal are all examples of programs that have developed standards for environmental leadership that consider multiple factors.
  • Learn to recognize the “six sins of greenwashing”, and learn to ask questions. Is the claim restricted to just one environmental consideration? Does it help you find more information? Is it specific enough to be informative? Does the claim matter? Is it unique? Can you verify it? Is it merely trying to make you feel better about an unhealthy product?
  • Perhaps most importantly, support the businesses you trust and that don’t need a “green” claim. Local businesses that provide quality food and products, produced close to home, and that support conservation rather than the newest “green products” deserve your business, and are truly environmentally friendly.
for more information:
recipes
komatsuna mushroom noodle soup
  • 2 T sesame oil, separated
  • 2-4 I’itoi onions
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 T fresh ginger, minced
  • 6 C vegetable stock
  • 1 C small dried mushrooms
  • 2 T mirin
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 lb komatsuna
  • 8 oz rice noodles (fettuccine width)
  • 1/4 C almonds, ground
  • 4 T miso paste
  • 1 T sesame oil

In a large soup pot, sauté green onions in 1 T sesame oil for a minute or two. Add the garlic and ginger. When they start to stick to the bottom, add stock.

Add mushrooms, mirin, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.

Chop and add the komatsuna stems, then chop the komatsuna leaves and add. This will give the stems a little bit more time to cook.

Wait until the komatsuna looks fully cooked, then add the rice noodles and cook until they are soft. Then, remove from heat and add the ground almonds, miso paste, and remaining T of sesame oil. The ground almonds add some creaminess to the soup. Dissolving the miso paste can be difficult. It may help to remove a cup or two of the soup liquid to mix with the miso. The sesame oil gives the soup nice sparkling orange oil bubbles floating on top.

namul or namuru (komatsuna salad)
adapted from http://nesfp.nutrition.tufts.edu.com
  • 2 C cooked komatsuna
  • 1 1/2 T dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 t sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 T toasted sesame seeds
  • optional: pinch of sugar
  • optional: chili oil

You can use one kind of green leafy vegetable or several. Wash the leaves well to get rid of any grit and so on. If the leaves have stalky parts, cut them off and slice thinly. Cut the leaves up if necessary. Bring a pot of water to boil. Put stems in first to allow additional time to soften. Boil for about 2-3 minutes, then put in the rest of leaves. Boil for about 2 minutes or just until the leaves are limp, but not turning into mush!

Drain well.  Return to the pot and add cold water, to refresh and cool them. Drain again and squeeze out the moisture well.

Grate the garlic clove on a fine grater, or smash it to a pulp with a knife, or pass it through a garlic press. Mix with the salt and oil. Mix into the well drained and squeezed out greens very well – your hands are the best tools for this. Mix in the sesame seeds. Taste, and adjust the seasoning: if it’s not salty enough, add a little salt; if the greens are bit too bitter for you, add a little bit of  sugar. If you want it spicy, add a few drops of chili oil.

You can make this ahead and store it in the refrigerator for up to a couple of days, though no longer – think of it as a salad.

spaghetti squash and greens gratin
adapted from karlynskitchen.com
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 2 T olive oil, separated
  • 2 t Rosemary Garlic Rub, or any all purpose seasoning that’s good on vegetables
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 1/2 t Spike seasoning (optional but good)
  • 1/2 t dried thyme leaves
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 bunch chopped tendergreens leaves
  • 2 T finely chopped I’itoi onions greens
  • 1/2 C sour cream (don’t use fat free)
  • 3/4 C cottage cheese curds (put the cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water to get the cheese curds)
  • 1/2 C coarsely grated Parmesan cheese plus about 1/4 cup more for topping the gratin
  • 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400F. Wash the outside of the spaghetti squash if needed, then cut off the stem and blossom end, stand squash upright, and using a large chef’s knife, carefully cut in half lengthwise. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out seeds and the slimy material that surrounds them, and discard. Rub cut sides of squash with about 1/2 T olive oil for each half, then sprinkle each with 1 tsp. Rosemary Garlic Rub or other seasoning of your choice. Spray the roasting pan with non-stick spray, put squash on baking sheet and pour 1/4 cup water around bottom of squash. Roast squash about 45-50 minutes, or until it separates easy into strands when pulled with a fork. Let squash cool for a few minutes, then shred into spaghetti-like strands.
While squash cooks, wash tendergreens leaves if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towel. In two batches, stack up greens on top of each other and slice into thin ribbons, then turn the cutting the board the other way and slice again into small pieces. Chop onion.
Heat 1 T olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped onions, season with Spike seasoning, dried thyme, and black pepper, and saute until onion is softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more, then add chopped greens all at once. Cook about 1-2 minutes, turning a few times. until greens are wilted to about half the size they were. (The greens shouldn’t be completely cooked, since they will cook more in the gratin.) Turn off heat.
Put 3/4 cup cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water until only the cheese curds remain, then let drain. Spray a glass or crockery gratin dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.Using a large fork, gently mix the chopped chives or green onion and shredded spaghetti squash into the onion/chard mixture. Combine the sour cream, drained cottage cheese curds, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg and mix into the chard/spaghetti squash mixture. Then put the combined ingredients into the gratin dish, and press down so it’s evenly distributed in the dish. Sprinkle top with about 1/4 cup more Parmesan cheese.

Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and cheese is browned on top. Serve hot.

saute of cauliflower and tendergreens with peanuts
adapted from eatingwell.com
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets, (1/2 small head)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, or water
  • 1 bunch firmly packed, coarsely chopped tendergreens, stems included
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
Whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce and water in a small bowl.
Heat oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until very hot. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds. Add cauliflower and vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add greens and simmer, covered, until the greens are tender, an additional 5 minutes. (Do not overcook the greens or they will lose their vibrant color.) Stir in the peanut sauce and cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with chopped peanuts.
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From the Land 1/18

food for thoughtsalad mix and swiss chard from Crooked Sky, butternut squash and garlic from Sun Sufficiency, onions from Whipstone, sprouts (choice of alfalfa, broccoli or radish) from SproutKidz, grapefruit from the Hawkins’, and pickled root veggies (choice of daikon radish and carrot, just daikons, or beets) from Crooked Sky Farms and prepared by me!

garlic
chioggia beets: Allium sativum

Garlic has been used for thousands of years as both food and medicine. Especially relevant in cold and flu season, garlic is not only delicious but can help prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, to boost the immune system, and may even help prevent cancer, as it’s high content of antioxidants destroy free radicals!

Eat it raw to get the most out of this health-giving food. Second best, though, is to let it sit after chopping or mincing before putting it in the pan or otherwise changing its temperature or pH, which lets the alliinase enzymes get to work. Microwaving or boiling the whole clove has been found to decrease the cancer-protective properties. Research suggests including garlic in at least one meal each day – at least 1/2 clove per serving.

The bulbs of garlic you pick up from CSA today can supplement your garlic habit for years to come! In our growing climate, garlic can be planted either late fall or early spring. For spring planting, make sure that the cloves are chilled and then plant in late February or March. One clove will yield one bulb. Plant the clove pointy side up in well-draining soil in a sunny location. Space the cloves 4-6 inches apart, and plant them 2 inches deep. Water to keep moist, but make sure you don’t overwater or the cloves will rot. Harvest when the tops dry out. Check out herbs2000.com for more info!

fermented foods
People have been fermenting almost as long as we’ve been farming. It is the original food preservation, and the beneficial cultures that break down the food during this process actually generate nutrients, such as vitamin B and iron. That’s right – the nutrient content of fermented foods is actually higher than of the raw ingredient itself! Fermented foods increase metabolism, produce healthy enzymes, and boost antibiotic and anticarcinogenic  substances. They promote healthy bacteria in the intestine with regular consumption of a variety of fermented foods.
Common fermented foods are all around us: dairy (yogurt, kefir), soy (tempeh, miso) and cabbage (sauerkraut and kimchi). Unfortunately, many of these are industrially produced and use vinegar to speed the process rather than the traditional way of lacto-fermentation, in which the starches and sugars in vegetables are converted into lactic acid, which then starts to “pre-digest” the food.
That said, using high-quality vinegar can be a good way to make “refrigerator pickles” of different varieties. This process of quick fermentation is not a substitute for lacto-fermentation, as it does not give the same health benefits, but the vinegar itself is a healthy fermented food.
Today you get the choice of (vinegar-fermented) daikon radishes, radishes and carrots, or beets. You can actually keep the liquid and continue adding sliced or julienned root veggies, greens, or other vegetables! Let the newly added veggies sit for a couple days. These pickled treats are traditionally served on a banh mi sandwich, though are also delicious straight out of the jar as a snack!  I hope you enjoy them.
recipes
vietnamese daikon and carrot pickles (“do chua”)
adapted from foodnetwork.com
  • 2 pounds carrots (about 5 medium sized carrots), peeled
  • 2 pounds of daikon radishes (about 2 large daikon), peeled
  • 1 cup plus 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups warm water (warm enough to easily dissolve sugar)
Julienne the carrots and the daikon radishes. Cut them first crosswise into 2 1/2 inch long segments. Then cut 1/4-inch thick slices lengthwise. Stack the slices and cut them again into 1/4-inch thick batons.

Place the carrots and daikon radishes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 4 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt. Use your clean hands to toss the carrots and daikon with the salt and sugar until well coated. Continue to mix the carrots and daikon with your hands until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. They are ready once you can bend a piece of daikon all the way over without it breaking.

Transfer the carrots and daikon to a colander, rinse with cool water and drain well.

In a bowl (a 8 cup pyrex measuring cup works great for this) mix together one cup of sugar, the white vinegar and the warm water, until the sugar dissolves.

Prepare clean jars. Pack the daikon and carrots tightly into the jars. Pour over the pickling liquid to cover. Seal. Refrigerate.

The pickles should sit at least overnight before eating; their flavor will improve with time. They should last 4 to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.

Traditionally served in Vietnamese street sandwiches called Banh Mi. These pickles would be great with anything that would typically be served with coleslaw or sauerkraut, like hot dogs, or barbecued pork, or even with salad or wrapped into a spring roll. Or just eat them straight.

panela-coated scallops with jicama, grapefruit, and roasted garlic mojo
adapted from foodnetwork.com
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 1 cup olive oil, plus extra, for searing
  • 1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
  • 1 small red onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium jicama, cut into small dice (or substitute salad turnip, water chestnuts, radishes, or even apples!)
  • 2 grapefruits, segmented and cut into small dice
  • 1 pound scallops, cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons grated panela (or other Mexican cheese)
  • Salt and pepper

Combine grapefruit juice, roasted garlic, olive oil and zest in a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Puree; this is the mojo.

Combine red onions, jicama, and grapefruit segments and dress with the mojo. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside.

In a saute pan, heat a little oil over high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. When the oil is smoking, sear the scallops on both sides, remove from the pan, and set aside.

Deglaze the saute pan with balsamic vinegar, then add Worcestershire and panela. Cook until thick and syrupy. Add scallops back to the pan and pour over jicama and grapefruit salsa.

Divide the scallops and salsa onto 4 plates.

roasted garlic and butternut squash soup
adapted from rachelraymag.com
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2-3/4 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for brushing
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large yellow-fleshed potato, such as Yukon gold (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup caramelized onions
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley or chives
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the cut sides of the squash and the garlic cloves with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut sides down on the baking sheet, tucking the garlic cloves and thyme into the squash cavities. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the potato in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a low boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the peel and the thyme. cut the squash into large pieces. In a blender, working in batches, puree the squash, garlic cloves, potato and chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper.
In a medium saucepan, heat the soup over medium-low heat until warmed through. Divide among 4 serving bowls and top with the yogurt, onions and parsley.
swiss chard salad with garlicky yogurt
adapted from foodandwine.com
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 2 pounds Swiss chard, leaves only, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup tahini, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Roast the red bell pepper directly over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler, turning as needed, until charred all over. Transfer the pepper to a bowl, cover and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel and seed the pepper, then cut it into 1/4-inch dice.
Put the Swiss chard in a large colander and set in the sink. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt over the chard and rub it into the leaves with your fingers. Let stand for 1 minute, then rinse the chard and squeeze dry.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add 2 of the minced garlic cloves and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the Swiss chard and cook, stirring, until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the roasted red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and spread them in an even layer. Let cool.
In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the tahini, lemon juice and the remaining 3 minced garlic cloves. Season with salt. Spoon the yogurt sauce over the cooled Swiss chard.
In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat until the pepper begins to sizzle, about 10 seconds. Pour the pepper oil over the yogurt sauce. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.

From the Land 1/11

announcements As you know, we’re implementing a couple changes at CSA. If you have a partial share, you’ll pick up your four items at the table in the corner, next to the fridge (not the center table). If you have a full share, make sure you get all eight items (from both tables). If you have a dairy share, please make sure you return your jars every week! Our providers depend on receiving the same amount of jars back each week so they always have enough. Put your jars in the hanging jar holder in the slot with your name. This will help us keep track of who is returning their jars. At the end of the day, we’ll note who did not return their jars and charge a jar deposit appropriately. Thanks for your cooperation! food for thought
chioggia beets, carrots, fennel, dill, daikon radishes, oranges, spinach, and red potatoes from Crooked Sky!

veg of the week
chioggia beets: Beta Vulgaris

Yes, we featured beets just a month or so ago, but these lovely sweets are worth talking about again, especially because we’ve been getting “chioggias”. These beautiful striped root veggies were recently listed on Sunset magazine’s “top ten feel-good foods”, due to their high content of fiber, potassium, iron, folic acid, and betacyanin (the antioxidant that gives them their rich pink color).

Beets tend to be one of those vegetables that a person either loves or hates. I’m in the “love” category, but apparently even President Obama hasn’t gotten over what was probably an early canned-beet trauma. My suggestion to those poor souls who think they don’t like them: eat them anyway, because they’re so good for you! Try to like the “dirt” flavor, or try to cover it by pickling your beets! Slice them thin, try them cooked or raw, and my guess is that you’ll discover that you really (maybe secretly) like them! Be aware: some people are more sensitive than others to the tannin in raw beets that can cause a dryness or slight burning in the back of the throat. If you find this is true, don’t worry – it only lasts a couple minutes. And next time, try cooking them, as the tannin doesn’t survive heat. Chioggia beets are sweeter and milder than other red beets, so they may be a good place to start. Below are some recipes that specifically call for chioggia beets, created or posted specifically by people who “hate” beets. Enjoy!

eggs
These days, it seems every food product claims to be healthy. “Greenwashing” refers to the marketing spin used to (often deceptively) promote the perception that a company’s practices are environmentally friendly. This greenwashing trend is seen on egg cartons too: they claim to be “free-range” or “organic”, but beware – these eggs are not all created equal! Unfortunately, most of these hens are raised on “organic” farms in which they hardly see the light of day, have only 1 1/2 square feet of living space per chicken, or who’s “access to the outdoors” includes only a small screened-in porch. Not all free-range claims are deceptive though; many farms obtain a true standard by raising chickens that have full access to the outdoors and are therefore able to scratch and peck for their own grass, weed seeds, bugs and worms, supplemented with high quality organic grains if necessary. The difference in cost is reflected in these eggs also: one should assume that there is a drastic difference in quality between a $1.99/dz and a $5.50/dz, even if both claim to be “free-range”.
Cornucopia Institute recently investigated the practices of over 100 “free-range” egg farms, and created a scorecard documenting these practices. They rated them from “5: exemplary; beyond organic” to “1: ethically deficient; industrial organics/no meaningful outdoor access and/or none were open enough to participate”. They also included “private label”: those produced for grocers or distributors with the aim of increasing their presence in the organic marketplace. As to be expected, the “5”s are small, diverse farms that provided to their hens ample pasture or movable houses that rotate pastures. They sell mostly locally or regionally, usually through farmers markets, cooperatives, or CSAs. On the other extreme, the “1”s are industrial-scale producers that provide the bare minimum of outdoor access, which can mean a small door or a covered concrete porch that actively discourages the chickens from going outside. Unfortunately, there are some recognizable names on the list, including eggs commonly found at local supermarkets under their organic brand, or even at local natural foods grocery stores. You can visit http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/ to view the scorecard.
While none of our local farms were part of the study, we strive to provide eggs in the CSA Store that meet the “beyond organic” category. We know that providing chickens with quality access to the outdoors, the opportunity to scratch and peck for food, and eating lots of fresh greens, grass and bugs makes happy hens that lay high quality eggs.
Besides the treatment of the animals, what are the benefits of an ethically-produced egg? We know they cost more, so is it worth it? Mother Earth News did a nutritional analysis of eggs. Their 2007 study revealed that, compared to supermarket eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture contained 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene! A more recent study also revealed a presence of 4 to 6 times the amount of vitamin D. Check out the study at http://www.motherearthnews.com/eggs.aspx?newsletter=1&utm_content=01.04.12+SLCS&utm_campaign=2012+SLCS&utm_source=iPost&utm_medium=email.
recipes
beet carpaccio
adapted from popartichoke.com
for salad:

  • 1 lb chioggia beets, trimmed (and peeled if desired)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachio nutmeats
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup radish greens or other microgreens
for dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar or honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and white pepper
Thinly slice the beets with a mandoline slicer.  Place the slices into a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup lemon juice.  Set aside. (The lemon juice will help preserve the color of the beets when you cook them, so let them sit at least 10 minutes while you prep everything else.)
Make the dressing: Mix together vinegar, sour cream, tarragon, and sugar with a wire whisk or in a food processor until well-blended.  Slowly add the olive oil, while whisking constantly.  (This creates an emulsion).  Add salt and white pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Bring water to a boil in a large pot that has a steamer tray.  If you like, add salt and a splash of lemon juice to the water.  Once boiling, place beet slices on the streamer tray (it’s alright if they overlap slightly).  Cover and steam for 5-6 minutes, or until tender yet firm.  Briefly shock the beets in an ice bath, then drain.
Layer the beets and onions on four small plates.  Sprinkle with pistachios and feta cheese crumbles.  Make sure the dressing is well-stirred, then lightly drizzle over the salad.  Top with radish greens.
dirty beets
adapted from cooklocal.com
Get yourself some beets. Any sort of beets will do, but the chioggia beets are nice and mild, though any sort of baby beets will be pretty sweet as well. Get yourself some other sort of root vegetable. Purple potatoes make a dramatic dish, as do turnips. Dice all of the vegetables. The more you hate beets, the smaller the pieces of beet should be. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the beets and whatever vegetables you’ve diced. Cook until the veggies have shrunk a bit and look a little crispy and caramelized. Eat.
halibut with roasted beets, beet greens, and dill-orange gremolata
adapted from bonappetit.com
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
  • 3 medium (1 1/2- to 2-inch) beets with green tops attached; beets trimmed and scrubbed, beet greens very coarsely chopped (4 to 6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 4 6- to 7-ounce halibut fillets or mahi-mahi fillets (about 1 inch thick)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Mix dill and peel in small bowl for gremolata. Place beets in medium pot; add enough water to cover beets halfway. Cover and cook on rolling boil until just tender. Uncover and drain. Cool beets slightly. Peel and cut into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices. Place beets in medium glass bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon gremolata, and shallots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss well. Toss beet greens in another medium bowl with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Spread beet slices in single layer on half of prepared baking sheet. Mound beet greens on other half of baking sheet. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper; place fish fillets atop beet greens. Brush fish with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle fish with 2 tablespoons gremolata.
Roast fish and vegetables until fish is just opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Divide fish and vegetables among plates. Sprinkle with remaining gremolata and serve.
chilled beet, orange and dill soup
adapted from epicurious.com
  • 1 bunch beets, cooked and julienned. Reserve cooking liquid.
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced unpeeled English hothouse cucumber (about 1/2 large)
  • Additional chopped fresh dill

Combine half of beets, half of reserved beet liquid and half of orange juice in blender. Blend until smooth. Blend in half of buttermilk and 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped dill. Transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining beets, beet liquid, orange juice, buttermilk and 1 1/2 tablespoons dill. Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.) Garnish soup with cucumber and additional dill. Ladle into bowls.