Tuesday, August 15, 2006

veggin' out

Tonight’s Green Earth haul inspired a some balsamic braised fennel with halibut, and a tasty batch of beets and beet green salad which the darlin’ companion immediately pegged as “yuck”. (Important to note that the judgement was made without ever tasting the salad. Our man of the meat and potatoes also opted for fish & chips while I downed my halibut. Oh well: It’s quick, it’s cheap, and it keeps the peace.)

Big batch of kale to dispose of too – which means I'll be pulling out the Kale and White Bean soup recipe that got us through the last batch. (No yuck on that one -- the kielbasa eased the way.)

Beet and Beet Greens Salad adopted from Viana La Place’s Verdura
1 bunch of small beets of equal size, with fresh, leafy green tops
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
Viana La Place wrote up a beautiful recipe with telling details and instructions on how to serve this salad in a lovely way – complete with lemon slices on a large platter. But I’m tired from all that beet boiling, so here’s a quick recap:
Boil a big pot of water. Salt it.

Drop in the beet greens for a quick parboil – before you do that be sure to strip out the stems. And wash them, of course. The beets too, while you’re at it.

Pull the beet greens out with tongs just as soon as they go limp. Drain in a colander.

Drop the unpeeled beets in the boiling water and simmer until tender – about 15 to 25 minutes, depending on their size. (This is when your husband walks into the kitchen and says: “Smells like dirt.” ‘Cause they do, a little bit, while they’re cooking, if they’re fresh. Or maybe I didn’t wash them well enough. But that’s cool: it’s boiling water anyway.)

When they’re tender (test them with a fork) drain, rinse under cold water, and peel. (At this point you can slip the peels off with your fingers -- they're slippery and ready to give. Of course, that'll leave your fingertips pink for a little while.)

Slice them the way you like them (I like wedges) and chop the greens a bit. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic to taste.

If you’re like me (ravenous omnivore) eat it right out the bowl. Otherwise serve it up nice, just like La Place would like, garnished with lemon slices.

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