battle 9–day 2–beets

This morning I woke up considering doing a major first in the history of this august project…extending a vegetable battle to two weeks. This was my thought process, see if you agree: This was originally supposed to be kohlrabi week. When kohlrabi hit the skids, I scrambled to move up beets, so then I wasn’t really mentally prepared for what is likely the very worst vegetable in the history of the world. My first pass at it was relatively successful, but not enough to call it won, yum yum beets, and my second attempt was a miserable failure. And then all of a sudden this week was over (how did I only have two nights with beets? That’s weird…oh, there was that one night I told beets to suck it and went out for sushi instead, and that other night I…OK, it’s all coming back to me now)… so I’m just a little pissed about ending this week undone. So I thought, well next week was supposed to be beet week anyway, and I still haven’t found kohlrabi, why not just keep going until I beat beets? Don’t you agree?

Stupid fucking kohlrabi. I hate you.

So this morning, I got an e-mail from the East Lake Farmers’ Market that their growers will have kohlrabi at the market this weekend. Seriously. No shit. I am serious as a heart attack about that. I looked back through all my e-mails from them and this is the first time they’ve had it. I don’t know how to feel about these stars aligning in kohlrabi’s favor. Obviously I have to do kohlrabi week now. But can I still continue beet week like I wanted to? I’m considering this. I make up the rules, of course, so I can do whatever the fuck I want.

In the meantime, the reason I’m so anxious to keep at it with beets is that last night I bombed my only real pass at eating them. And by ‘eating’ I mean swallowing and digesting. Steph over at PROJECT 29 to 30 has also never eaten beets, so we decided to tackle this one together and made a date for girls’ night out at Watershed. Not only is Watershed my favorite restaurant in the whole wide world, they have gingered beets as a side item. Score.

I ordered the vegetable plate with all my favorite veggies, which some of my dinner companions poo poo’d because they’re all fried or cooked in animal fat (so delicious), and then asked Mister Server Guy about the beets. He said, and I quote, “They’re great. I don’t even like beets and I love them.” Steph—who had earlier in the day choked down some salad bar beets and found them to be most mud-like and unappetizing—and I hung on every word of this ringing endorsement. Let us eat beets.

Or maybe let us heave a little and then spit up beets.

Watershed’s ginger beets looked a lot like cranberry-from-a-can you only ever eat at Thanksgiving, so their appearance was misleading from the get go. Not that I really like cranberry-from-a-can, but that blobbly purplish stuff conjured an image in my head that the taste in my mouth failed to match. As I chewed and settled in with this disappointment, I started to actually taste the beets. Wow. Awful. Think of gross meets terrible meets worse meets dirt. That’s beets.

I spat it out. On my plate. Then I was so grossed out looking at it that I moved the spat-out-bit back to the beet side dish. Then I gave the beets to one of my unsuspecting dinner companions. I do feel a little bad about recycling beets I spat in. A little.

Steph, meanwhile had a much better attitude about gingered beets than I did, and she actually ate hers. Even after Mister Server Guy took our plates she kept her beets and continued eating them, considering them carefully. Whatever, Steph. Showoff.
I am going to do beets again next week. I will not be defeated. GRRRRRRRRR.

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5 thoughts on “battle 9–day 2–beets

  1. I honestly like most vegetables but beets are just HORRIBLE no matter what you do with them. I think it’s ok to not like ’em as long as you tried ’em. Sometimes, you gotta give yourself a break.

  2. okay, so beets are really better without being mushed and softened too much. for instance, pickled, canned beets are crap.

    also, yellow beets have a slightly sweeter taste, so you might want to try them.

    my favorite way of eating beets:
    bake beets with peel on (cut off stalk and root bottom) at about 400 for approx 45-60 mins. once baked, run under cold water, then remove peel (should be able to rub off).

    chop beets into largish chunks. toss w/olive oil, lemon juice, halved cherry tomatoes (i know-tomatoes; you can skip that part), fresh basil, goat cheese, and chopped walnuts. i recommend adding the cheese last. toss with a little salt and pepper, and serve. very good; very fresh.

    or just make sangria.

  3. 2 words: beet vodka

    You can’t help but win with vodka. I do believe they make such a thing here in Portland. But wait! You don’t live here…

  4. Beets are nasty.

    Combine them with cheese, or better yet BACON. That should make them tolerable, right?

    Garden Beets
    4 beets each

    Haystack Mountain goat cheese

    Dijon Vinaigrette
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    1 each garlic cloves – minced
    1 ea shallots – minced
    1 cup dijon
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    Black pepper

    Balsamic Reduction
    2 cup balsamic

    12 slices

    Garden Beets
    Place beets in saucepan with enough water to cover. Simmer in water for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Let cool and peel. Slice each beet into 4 rounds. Set aside.

    Dijon Vinaigrette
    Emulsify all ingredients in a blender, pouring oil in slowly to blend.

    Balsamic Reduction
    Simmer in small pot, reduce by 1/3 and lightly coats the back of a spoon. Let cool.

    Cook until slightly crispy.

    To Assemble
    Set oven to 350 degrees. Place slice of beet on sheet tray. Smear 1/4 tablespoon Haystack Mountain goat cheese. Dot of Black Pepper. One Slice of Bacon. (Repeat two times.) Add more goat cheese to top. Place in oven for about 6 minutes or until warm. Use spatula to set on plate. Drizzle balsamic and Dijon vinaigrette on plate and serve.

  5. I don’t know that kohlrabi has ever been subject to such invective. Serves it right though, beat down easily by Julie for not being more available to even be tried.

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