Shopping for and storing beets

Shopping for and storing beets
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Choose beets that are nice and hard without any soft spots. I find it easiest to choose good beets if the greens are on. If the beet greens are looking wilted, that means that they’ve been sitting out for a while. The best beets have bright greens that don’t show too many signs of wilt.

Once you get the beets back home, cut the greens away from the roots. I’ve read that you should store the beet root in a plastic bag, but mine do just fine sitting loose in the produce drawer as long as I use them within three to five days. I also keep my beet greens loose, just wrapped with a rubber band or twist tie. You’ll want to use the greens within three days of buying them.
Cooking Beets.

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I have a recipe below for beet root and one for beet greens. Before we get to that I wanted to share, here’s a life-changing secret about beet root: generally, you don’t need to peel it.
Instead of peeling, grab yourself a scrubby brush, and go to town. Beet root grows under ground, so you want to scrub all of that dirt and grime away. The only part of the beet that you need to cut away is the pointy root at the very bottom and the tough part at the top where the greens were attached.
Beet greens behave very much like Swiss chard when you’re cooking. This makes sense, since beets and chard are related! I have a beet greens recipe below, and you can also use these yummy dark and leafies in any recipe that calls for chard.

Roasted Beets

This is hands-down my favorite way to prepare beets. It’s easy, delicious, and roasting brings out the beet’s natural sweetness.

Ingredient

  • 2 cups of beets, chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole

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Method

1. Preheat your oven to 425F.
2. Toss the beets, olive oil, OJ, ginger, and garlic together right in your roasting pan.
3. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring
every 15 minutes to make sure they roast up evenly.

Pan-Fried Beet Greens

Beet greens are more tender than kale, so the cooking time is a little bit different. They also cook down more than kale does, so the same amount of raw greens yields fewer cooked greens.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 6 cups of beet greens, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2″ piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, or to taste
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/8 cup toasted sesame seeds

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Method

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat.
2. Add the beet greens, garlic, and ginger, and cook, stirring constantly, until the greens turn bright green. This happens pretty quickly, so keep a close eye on those greens! Add the soy sauce and Sriracha and cook for a few more minutes.
3. Transfer to your serving bowl and toss with the lemon juice and sesame seeds.

Vidya Sankaranandh

Vidya Sankaranandh

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