By Caitlin Porter, Seacoast Eat Local Intern
Beets are one of my absolute favorite vegetables. They are perfectly in season right now, and plentiful at all of the markets. Before I worked at the markets, I had no idea you could eat them raw! Even if you think you don’t like beets, you could be surprised if you give them another go. There are two varieties: traditional red and golden. Golden beets are more mild and sweeter than their colorful counterpart. They seem difficult to prepare, but they are so sweet and versatile.
Raw: After peeling with a vegetable peeler, dice or grate beets into a salad! They are sweet and crunchy this way.
Microwaving: Beets can be microwaved in about an inch of water for 2-4 minutes, or until tender. This is a very quick way to prepare them.
Stovetop: Peeled beets can be boiled for about 20 minutes on the stovetop.
Roasted: This is my favorite method to cook beets. Line a baking sheet with foil, and toss the beets (with skin still on) with olive oil. Bake at 400°F for 45-60 minutes, or until tender.
After cooking, the beet skin will need to be removed. The skin will come off very easily, and I always just use my fingers. Although the beets do get on your hands, they usually don’t stain after washing. If you don’t like the idea of getting your hands dirty, you can take a paper towel and rub off the skin or wear gloves.
Beet greens are also a very nutritious leafy green. They are perfect sautéed or finely chopped into a salad. Don’t throw them away!