When I was in first grade we were asked to name our favorite foods and television shows. I unfashionably answered, "Liver and creamed spinach and NOVA." (For those of you who may not know, NOVA is a science program on PBS.) It took years to live that down. I still like unfashionable food and television.
Among my old favorites are beets. They seem to be having something of a resurgence now, but for a long time people would squinch up their faces at the thought of them and say, "Yuck." I love them. Their ruby stain on the cutting board, the earthy taste and smell. They speak to me of health and time and old ways of doing things. As a kid we'd eat cold bottled borscht with a swirl of sour cream and it was heaven. I'd let it stain my clothing on purpose, watching the color run.
A few nights ago I roasted beets from our farm share. They were wonderful.
Roasted beets. One version.
Take a bunch of beets. Cut off the tops and save them for later. Scrub the bulbs, cut off the very top and bottom and peel. You may want to save the peels for soup, you may want to toss them out.
Admire the stain on your fingers. It will mostly wash out, but not entirely. That's okay.
Cut the beets into thick slices, maybe 1/2 inch thick.
Toss them with olive oil and kosher salt. Add some roughly chopped fresh rosemary and a dash of black pepper. Add a little mroe rosemary. Really.
Wrap this all in foil and roast it at maybe 350-375 for about 30 minutes until the beets are tender.
(ps. Yes, the beets will have certain digestive effects (write to me if you don't know what I'm talking about). Don't worry about it, this means you're eating something really good for you and it won't last.)
(c) 2008 Laura S. Packer