Mark Bittman in today’s New York Times writes about root vegetables. As a kid, I had no idea what those were. We had a root cellar but never did it have any roots. I didn’t understand why roots would grow in the cellar and why it was so important to have a room in the basement dedicated to such a thing. Later, I realized how important roots were, and they were, in fact, planted in that basement.
Regardless of my poor attempt at double entendre, much of our food knowledge takes root (there I go again) when we are children. We develop our comfort food addictions then, we learn about where, when and how plants grow and we begin to develop tastes and dislikes for certain foods that stay with us throughout our lives.
I will rant from time to time about schools and what we teach our kids. I suggest that you impart as much knowledge about food onto your children as you can. Teach them to cook and, instead of making them eat their vegetables, make them vegetables that they want to eat. My mother ruined brussels sprouts for me. It took me 30 years to get over that. On the other hand, I hated milk and she never made me drink it. It turned out that I was lactose intolerant.
One vegetable that my mother liked and I liked too was beets. Bittman writes: “…beets a pain to clean.” This recipe addresses that little issue in a (thank my Kansas wife) clever way.
- 5-6 Red or Golden Whole Beets
- Goat Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Ovenproof Roasting Pan
- Chef’s Knife
- Paper Towels
- Aluminum Foil
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Cut the top and bottom off of the beets.
- Place them in pan with about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of water.
- Cover with aluminum foil.
- Roast for 45 minutes.
- Remove the skins by rubbing with a paper towel. The skins should just slide off.
- Slice and drizzle with olive oil, a sprinkle of sugar (optional), a spritz of balsamic and a crumble of goat cheese.
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
The portions of all of the toppings are completely dependent on the sweetness of the beets, the sweetness of the balsamic and your taste for goat cheese. I would always leave the sugar out and my wife never would. You all fight it out amongst yourselves.