Veg ID: They’re usually a dark red, and we also grow yellow beets and heirloom Chioggias that are white and pink striped inside! Most of our CSA members like the standard red ones for their great flavour and sweetness and they are a go-to. The yellow and Chioggias have a slightly milder taste and don’t make the kitchen turn purple (not to mention the dish you’re making), so we try and get a few of these into our fall shares to mix things up. The tops are leafy, tender, and quite similar to swiss chard for cooking.
Keep them fresh: If they come with the tops attached, cut these off right away and store the roots and leaves in separate bags. Use the greens within a few days, and the roots will keep for several weeks in the crisper or a semi-sealed bag or container.
Eat them fresh (June-November/Dec/beyond): Raw (think grated in salad with carrot), roasted, pan-fried, boiled, steamed, cooked and pureed.
Enjoy year round: Winter root storage (bulk beets can keep for months in a cool place such as bagged your fridge or in a bin in an unheated garage), pickled, frozen as Borscht soup
August Farmer Fave: Boil whole small beets for 10 minutes, let cool, and slice up on top of a salad of new potatoes and green beans with a vinaigrette. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, boil the beet greens as well and blend them in with your favourite salad dressing for an extra boost of nutrients.
All-season Farmer Fave: Cubed beets tossed in oil, salt, and/or dried dill make an easy veggie side dish to throw in the oven and roast. We are also big fans of Borscht any day of the year, especially if you can make a big batch and freeze it in smaller portions to pull out when life gets busy.
Borscht is essentially a simple beet soup with Eastern European roots. There are lots of ways to make it and many family recipes to be had. We suggest thinking of it as mostly beets, some kind of veggie or meat stock (or just use water), a bit of sour (like lemon juice or cider vinegar), some dill and/or caraway seeds if you’d like, and a smattering of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and onion. Like most soups, it tastes even better after sitting for a few hours or overnight.
Roasted beets: What’s not to love? Lay them out in a pan or do them in a casserole dish that has a lid to caramelize them slowly. Having leftover roasted beets in the fridge for a snack between meals is an easy way to avoid the “mealtime panic” that can happen before dinner and a way to eat more veggies throughout the day.
Pickled beets We’ve heard from a small (but vocal) number of our CSA members that pickled beets really are a love/hate affair that they’ve tried early on in life and have been scared away from all beets ever since. So don’t worry, you don’t need to eat your beets pickled! There are so many other options! That said, if you enjoy pickles and want to enjoy them quietly without forcing them on those who are less trusting of beets in general, we highly recommend trying some quick fridge pickles.
Places to start…
Celeriac and beets at a fall Harvest Share pickup for our market-style CSA in Squamish