Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Take beets for an example.
A whole beet, roasted with its skin on, can be a tasty side dish or cooled and sliced in salads.
If you bought your beets at a farmers market or directly from a farmer, then they most probably came with their leafy greens.
Cleaned well and sautéed, the greens and their bright red stems make a delicious side dish.
"Waste not, want not" was always a good kitchen motto, now, more than ever.
For roasting I prefer medium to large sized beets. In fact, the larger the better. Select beets that are well-shaped, without damaged areas. If possible, choose beets that have fresh-looking greens still attached.
Do not peel the beets. Keeping the skins on means they cook in their own juices, concentrating their sweetness as they roast.
Yield 1 beet: 4 servings, depending on size and preparation
Time: 60-90 minutes depending on your oven and the size of the beets
1 bunch beets, usually 3-5 to a bunch, beet greens removed and reserved, washed to remove all grit
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 450F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place the beets on the lined baking sheet and place in oven.
After one hour, remove from the oven to test for doneness by inserting a pairing knife into the side of the beet. If the knife enters easily, the beet is done. If not, return to the oven. Check every 30 minutes until the beets are done.
Remove from oven and cool.
Peel off skin and remove stem and root end and discard.
Serve sliced or diced, either hot as a side dish or cold in salads.
Sautéed Beet Greens with Tofu and Brown Rice
Beet greens can be sautéed with a variety of ingredients, including shiitake mushrooms, onions, bean sprouts and red peppers and served as a side dish. Adding tofu and brown rice turns a side dish into an entree.
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes
1 bunch farmers' market fresh beets
1 yellow onion, washed, peeled, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, washed, peeled, roughly chopped (optional)
1/4 pound mushrooms, brown, shiitake, or portabella, washed, roughly chopped
4 oz. firm tofu
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the brown rice.
I use a Japanese rice cooker.
After washing the rice and pouring off the milky water, add 1 1/2 cups of water to each 1 cup of rice.
Turn on the rice cooker. When the cooker shuts off, fluff the rice, and put the cover back on for 10 minutes.
When you buy the beets, pick out a bunch with fresh looking leaves.
To prepare the beets, cut off the beet greens. Clean the beets and reserve to use raw or roasted in a
Soak the greens in water to remove grit. Cut the stems from the leaves. Finely chop the stems and roughly chop the leaves.
On a medium-high flame, heat a large pan with olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and pepper.
Sauté the beet green stems with mushrooms, onions and garlic (optional) until they are lightly browned.
Add beet greens.
Taste the greens to confirm they are tender. If not, continue sautéing until they are.
Pat dry the tofu and make 1" thick slabs, then cut the slabs into 1"x1" cubes.
Add the tofu to the beet green sauté and gently toss together to coat the tofu with the sauce.
Serve with the brown rice on the side or add the brown rice to the sauté.
Monday, April 6, 2020
Right now, most of us are safe-at-home. Like most of you, we have cleaned out our pantry, refrigerator and freezer to inventory exactly what we have on hand. What we don't have will have to wait until we go to the market, which is now once a week, usually on Wednesday when we can also go to the local farmers market.
Maximizing those ingredients is important so we don't have to go shopping more than necessary. I have been writing about getting several meals out of one chicken and making pasta and gnocchi from scratch, because a few ingredients can make many meals.
But to eat well doesn’t mean denying yourself pleasures. In fact, consider the gastronomic advantages of a one-egg omelet.
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