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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Beeting The Odds

The Lexington Indoor Farmers' Market opened last weekend in the atrium of Victorian Square. Tucked around garland-draped railings, Christmas lights, and a towering Christmas tree, the vendors offered a variety of late season produce. Baskets of turnips, beets, baby acorn squash, delicata squash, kohlrabi, turnip greens, kale, and potatoes were peppered with bins of baby curly spinach, hardy Beaujolais spinach, radishes, baked breads, meats, cheeses, scones, and canned goods. It was festive and fantastic.

I've had such crappy luck with beets this year that I was determined to avoid any and all beets at the market. That's me, Mr. determined. Steadfast. Strong. Yep.  Nope.  I succumbed to a few dirty bunches of gnarly golden beets topped with gorgeous yellow-veined greens from Elmwood Stock Farm.  Aside from my notion that golden beets tend to be milder and mellower than their fiercely assertive red counterparts, their perky pretty greens totally sold me

For my umpteenth beet battle, I kept it very simple.

After slicing the lovely tops from the beets (reserved for a quick saute or long simmer), I rubbed the beets with olive oil, seasoned them with salt, wrapped them in aluminum foil, and tossed them into a 350 degree oven to roast for 50 minutes.

When they were fork tender, I pulled the beets from the oven to cool before peeling away their skins with my finger tips. After chilling them for an hour, I sliced the golden beet bulbs into thin discs and overlapped them in a circular pattern on a large serving plate.

Because I didn't want to muck up their tender mellow sweetness, I dressed the beets very lightly with a splash of fresh squeezed orange juice, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and a drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil.  I dusted them with coarse kosher salt and finished the beet salad with tiny arugula micro greens from Long View Organics.

Napped with a slight hint of acidity from the vinaigrette, the fragile golden beet slivers were earthy, sweet, and bright. While the delicate arugula micro leaves added specks of freshness, their tiny tubular stems provided  popping wet crunch. Crazy.

Simple. Fresh. Fabulous.
Across the board.

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