It's been a while since I have enjoyed a meal this simple and this delicious. All thanks to a beautiful bunch of beets from my trip to the farmer's market this past weekend! Beets are in season right now, and I hadn't used them in a while, so I decided to pick up a bunch yesterday. These beets were on the small size, all smaller than a baseball, and the greens on the bunch were plentiful and vibrant. You have to love a vegetable that gives you two totally different things to eat.
So after my initial beet excitement, I sort of got stuck on what to do with them. I really didn't want to heat up the whole house with the oven to roast them, and I didn't wait to boil them and watch all the color and vitamins (especially folate) leach out into the water. Luckily for me, the New York Times ran a section that was more than appropriate - Recipes for Health: Beets. Lo and behold, there I found a raw beet recipe. So tonight, I went ahead and tried out the Grated Raw Beet Salad. Let me just say this first. I had never eaten beets raw before, so I was a little nervous about how they would taste. I am nervous no more. After eating these beets, I'm not sure I ever want to cook them again. The one thing I changed in the recipe was the lettuce; instead, I put the beets over spinach. Other than that, this was beet perfection. The citrus complimented the fresh beet flavor without overpowering it. The fresh herbs (I used parsley) added more color and bite. So simple, but so perfect. Here's the bowl of beets and citrus juice (notice the stained cutting board; wear your apron!). I could have just eaten this for dinner, but I figured I ought to control myself and finish the recipe.
I couldn't let the beet greens go to waste, and I needed a little protein in this meal. To make that happen, I cooked up some quinoa. When it was about half done, I added the washed and chopped beet greens with some orange and lemon juice, and let the greens wilt. After finishing with some salt and pepper, I served this alongside the beet salad. What a plate! Cooked and raw, red and green. This was delicious and satisfying. I'm really looking forward to returning to the farmer's market this coming weekend to tell the farmer how great the beets were and to buy another bunch!