Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bake a Beet, Pete!

I just spent an utterly blissful morning cooking vegetables from my father's garden. If, like me, you have too much shade to grow a vegetable garden (and you don't want to get into all the craziness of using artificial light) get thee to a farmer's market or make friends with a gardener NOW. The summer harvest is upon us!

I couldn't have done so well without Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food (published by Macmillan, 1998.)

Here's a sampling of the riches:

- Slow-cooked pole beans boiled (yes BOILED, you snobs!) in olive oil and water with fresh scallions and chopped yellow tomato (based on the recipe on pages 577-578.)

- Steamed (there, is that better?) green beans, tiny and fresh off the bush (no recipe needed!)

- Yellow squash medallions sauteed in butter (NOT olive oil) with salt & pepper, finished off with a dollop of honey and a handful of fresh chopped parsley (based on the recipe on page 607.)

- Steamed beet greens (verified my steaming instincts on page 540-basic information about beets; page 557-did you know that Swiss Chard is a beet green?; and page 604-the basic directions for steaming spinach.)

- Baked (BAKED!) beets, wrapped individually in foil and baked at 400F degrees for over one hour (page 541-these were so good that I had three of them for breakfast, and if Julia is reading this, I know that the gag reflex is making her head pop off!)

There you have it, folks! Food, real food, fresh from the garden of a Master Gardener (I hope he's having fun kayaking right now...)


Mary said...

Yum to all...  Beets are so sweet baked.  I nearly died with happiness when I discovered that.

Lynne said...

Oh my gosh I know. And so much less sloppy!

Sue said...

Hi Lynne, Sounds good! We tried a vegetable patch this year but pretty much failed….. a lot of rain in the spring so we got a late start, then no rain, poor soil and CRITTERS! Luckily we have many farm stands around here. Friday we went to a berry farm and picked blackberries. We tried an idea the farmer gave us – we froze some (unrinsed) berries, fresh banana slices and cantaloupe cubes, then rinsed the berries and pureed all in a food processor – made a great sorbet type dessert!!!!
Take Care,
PS we love beets!

Lynne said...

Food processor..I don’t have the space for one of those.....

Jennifer said...

Now I REALLY feel guilty for not steaming my beet greens from our weekly farm share…but I can barely make it though all the chard in one week! (which I love!).

Lynne said...

Do you guys do that coop thing where you pay a fee and then pick up an allotment of locally-grown produce?

Jennifer said...

It’s a direct farm share…we go to the farm to pick it up (but, I suppose the word “coop” does describe it pretty well). I’m going today, as a matter of fact; once a week from mid-June to mid-Sept. (3 installments, monthly, paid March, April, May…so you’re pre-paid and in for whatever Mother Nature is feeling like giving that year…or not!). The farmshare we’re part of (Bloody Brook Farm) also supplies local restaurants and farmers’ markets. It’s a family farm. The folks who run it are actually friends of ours too; the farm is her parents’ (both in their almost-90’s now) and it’s now run by 3 generations. Our next venture is “cowpooling”! (grin) There is a local beef distributor not far from here (Amish beef from up in the Hill Towns); and at least one of our neighbors wants to go in on “a cow” (fully butchered to usable meat products). I buy local eggs and am working on local chicken too…Am I crunchy, or what? JDB

Lynne said...

I’m so proud of you! The area where you live is so beautiful-it’s nice to know that local folks are helping out the family farms.

Jennifer said...

I am lucky…I live in a rather large pocket of sanity (at least, that’s the way I see it). JDB

Mary-Ellen said...

hmmmm yummmy!