I accidentally grew beets in my garden.
It wasn’t a case of gardening while stoned or tipsy, or even gardening while sleepwalking, it was a case of attempting to grow beet greens. Because beet greens, which is not under-ripe beets no it is the leaves, are great in salads. So, being the moderate and practical person that I am (stop it!), I planted half a raised bed of beet greens, grown from seed.
This is where there should be a photograph, but the beet greens weren’t photogenic.
In fact they looked exactly as though they had been subjected to shotgun fire. I netted them against the deer, but bugs, or possibly very small deer, got under the net and ate tiny holes in all the beet leaves. But the beet roots continued to grow, like a revolutionary newspaper, in the safety of the underground.
The result was a harvest of beets.
Here is an example. We had quite a few more, but since I have found the Great Recipe (keep reading!) we have eaten most of them.
My other root crop (I love saying “root crop” because it sounds so incredibly dull) was potatoes. And now I will shed all hope of looking successful and show you the complete harvest of that vegetable, which we have since eaten in its entirety in 1.5 dinners.
So really my Accidental Beets were more successful than my Deliberate Potatoes. And that is some sort of life lesson children! Anyway, I could not envision taking my stellar beet crop and boiling it. So I went to Chef Internet, read a million beet recipes, and developed one I like.
I will not make a big fuss about how you are about to experience Cooking with Linnie again, like I did with when I made blackberry ice-cream. (I don’t think you could take it.) So this is a very simple recipe which I call Root Crop Ensemble. (Don’t you love that? Makes me think of vegetables performing chamber music.)
Okay here is the simple and unadorned new recipe.
First, get out a big knife. (Have I mentioned the knife Mr. O bought this summer, at a second-hand shop? It is the biggest most startling knife, made in Germany. He made a scabbard for it and hung it on the kitchen wall, honestly, and he keeps this knife razor sharp. My son came home to visit, pulled this monster knife out of its wooden scabbard and said, “What the hell?” Indeed.) Here is an image of this knife, with an unlucky apple used for size reference.
Anyway, you just need a normally sized normally sharp knife, not an axe, not a guillotine, nothing too unusual at all. (I do not touch that enormous scary knife.)
Then, assemble the root crops. I use potatoes, carrots, and beets. And garlic.
With a reasonably-sized knife, carefully cube up unpeeled potatoes, carrots, and (peeled) beets. (I make 2 or 3 cups of cubed potatoes, then cube a couple of beets and about 3 large carrots.)
Mix it all with 3 or 4 minced pieces of garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of dried herbs. (I used an herb mix from Penzey’s, called Greek seasoning. It’s made of lemon, garlic, oregano and salt.) Add pepper.
Spread the mix in a shallow baking dish and roast in a 400 degree F. oven for a total of 30-40 minutes or until done, stirring it once.
I’m thinking of making this ahead for maybe Thanksgiving dinner. The leftovers are good reheated, but once I added them to chicken soup and that was good too.
It’s truly comfort food, and tastes great, and will make you feel strong and safe as you face the ghosts of autumn…