You Can’t BEET That

A few years ago, while at a wonderful friend’s home, I first encountered golden beets.  In all honesty, it was only a few years before that that I had ever had a beet at all, but that’s neither here nor there.  Any way, this friend is, by far, the best cook that I personally know.   I believe she can make just about anything delicious.  And while my first experiences with beets did not set a very high bar (boiled beets, plain anyone?) she leaped so high over that my mind was blown.  Who knew that something that tasted so much like dirt when I cooked it could be so, well, divine.

I have spent the last few years attempting to grow golden beets.  If you know me at all you can imagine what a hard time I have forking over the premium they charge at Whole Foods (the only place you can buy golden beets around here) for those little golden nuggets.  It’s just plain painful.  And considering the one and only time I bought them they DID NOT turn out anything near tasty I’ve gone back to trying to grow them.

Growing a garden is one of those wonderful analogies to life.  The first years you plant, if you’re like me, you just jump right in.  You throw some seeds in the ground and feel surprised when they don’t flourish.  8 years into this vegetable gardening thing and I feel like my life lesson catalogue is overflowing. I’ve learned that root vegetables need VERY soft ground.  I’ve learned that there are cool weather plants and warm weather plants.  Where I live beets grow in the spring and not so well in the summer.  I’ve learned that you have to thin beets well because each seed is actually a cluster of seeds so you NEED to thin, even if you plant just one seed in each hole.

I’ve learned a lot and I am happy to say I’ve reaped the reward:

IMAG5106IMAG4949

And I finally, FINALLY we get to have a golden beet salad.

DSC02038-1Golden Beet, Pea Shoot and Goat Cheese Salad

Serves 4

2 Cups Pea Shoots

1/2 Cup (packed) baby arugula

4 roasted beets cut into wedges

crumbled goat cheese (to taste)

juice from 1 lemon

drizzle of honey

Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Squeeze lemon over salad.  Drizzle with honey.  Toss and serve.

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