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Monday
Oct202014

Country Mouse Monday: roast beets, Blissbug (Lazy) Farm style

File under: Old dog, new tricks. 

I don't think there's anything that tastes more of the soil than beets. Which is probably why I detested them as a child, just loathed them. Now I celebrate them for that very reason, beets more terroir even than wine.

Now, because they taste of dirt, to me they're just plain Delicious. 

Beets are miraculous: plant them and leave them and months later return to orbs bursting the earth. And honestly, they're such a relief. While I'm stalking around the summer garden trying to stay ahead of the zucchini or willing the tomatoes to ripen, quiet low-maintenance beets are in the background, just doing their thing.

I left our golden beets in long this season. First I forgot about them, as one can, then I ignored them while it was too hot to bear the thought of operating the oven. But now that I've started the fall garden clean-up and the light is changing, it's time, time to roast and eat those golden beets. 

I know some people rub them with olive oil or add butter. That also sounds delicious, but I like a simple preparation that leaves the beets as much as possible in their natural state, dazzling and dirty. 

 

Blissbug (Lazy) Farm Beets

Preheat oven to 400.

Scrub beets, cut off root and remove greens leaving a little handle. Use greens for something else, if you do that kind of thing. Lazy tip #1: Don't bother drying the beets. Also, if you just want to compost the greens, do it.

Wrap each beet loosely in tin foil and place on a baking sheet. I generally try to seat them in the tin foil and on the baking sheet, tops up. They'll still manage to leak. Lazy tip #2: Throw a Silpat or parchment paper on there to ease clean-up.

Bake at 400 for 50-60 minutes or until easily pierce-able with a fork. Major Lazy tip #3. Or you could call it the do-gooder, energy-efficient tip: Turn off the oven after the beets have been in for 20 or so minutes. And walk away.

Walk away into the cooling evening air to walk the dog! Leave the wrapped-up beets in the oven all night!

Once the beets are cool or the next morning (I highly recommend next morning!), then you can easily remove their skins with a paring knife or even just with your hands. Lazy tip #4: If you can, throw them on the mandoline or slice them up right then and there, getting them salad- and mouth-ready right away. So much easier to add them to a meal when all the prep is already done.

Here's the deal about the Lazy Farmer style. You are still doing the work! It's enough! Make it easier and you'll actually do it!

And now, guess what: there are roasted, sliced delicious beets in the fridge waiting for my next meal. Just knowing they're there makes me happy, and I give thanks to the seeds and the sun and the soil and the well-water and my own hands for this perfect little synthesis, golden dazzling home-dirt in my mouth.  

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