Month: September 2014

Recipe: Beets with their Greens

 Beet Line (resized)

One of the most beloved vegetables in our house is the beet, a root crop veggie that’s become a lunch-time side staple for Harper (age 6), Asher (almost 4!), and me.  Lightly steamed beets sprinkled with sea salt are the perfect combination of sweet and salty.

If you think you don’t like beets, I ask you to please give them another chance.  Beets are incredibly good for you—they contain vitamins A, B, and C, as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous, and they’re full of phytonutrients.  Beets are also one of only a few plants that contain pigments called betalains, which exhibit strong antioxidant activity–in other words, they can help prevent cancer.  And because they’re high in dietary nitrates, research suggests that consumption of beets can also help lower blood pressure and increase athletic performance.  They’re one of those foods that taste good and actually ARE good for you at the same time.

 

Beet Harvest with boys (resized)

Since these beauties are already harvested, you get to spend all your time focused on the cooking (and the eating!).

You’re going to start by cutting and setting aside the greens, then thinly slicing and gently steaming the beets.  While the beets are steaming, chop up those greens, then toss them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for your salad base.

 

Beet Greens (resized)

Once the beets are cooled, toss half the beets with the greens, then place the other half on top of the salad.  Sprinkle the salad with feta, chopped toasted walnuts, and a little more oil and vinegar.

 

Toppings (resized)

If you’d like, season with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

 

Finished Beet Plate (resized)

For the printable recipe, scroll to the bottom of the page.

 

What to do with the cooking water and leftover greens?

One of the downsides of steaming beets (as opposed to eating them raw) is that you lose some of the nutrients in the water.  Because I want to get as much as I can out of each beet, I use the cooking water for the liquid in my smoothies throughout the week.  I also use the leftover beet greens in my smoothies.

I’ll eventually post more about my experience with green smoothies, but for now, here’s a simple recipe for those of you who are already familiar with this amazing drink.

 Smoothie with Beet Greens

Place beet greens, banana, strawberries, and beet water in blender.  Blend to your desired consistency.  Enjoy!

Photographs and Food Styling: Anne Kingma

Recipe for Beets with their Greens
Serves 4
A delicious salad featuring beets and their greens.
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Total Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 small beets, with their greens
  2. ¼ cup feta, gorgonzola, or chèvre
  3. Olive oil, 1 T 1 ½ tsp
  4. Balsamic vinegar, 1 T 1 ½ tsp
  5. ¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  6. Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by boiling a couple inches of water in a medium-sized pot.
  2. Remove greens from the beets and set aside.
  3. Thinly slice beets and place in steamer. If you don’t have a steamer, place the beets directly in the water. Cover and steam for 10-15 minutes, until you can easily insert a fork into the beets (but not so long that the beets are falling apart!). Remove from steamer and cool. Set aside the cooking water.
  4. Meanwhile, wash and dry the greens. Chop the greens until you have about 4 cups. Set aside the extra greens.
  5. Pour 1 T oil and 1 T vinegar into the bottom of a salad bowl. Place the chopped beet greens into the bowl and toss with the vinegar and oil.
  6. When beets are cool, toss half the beets with the greens. Place the other half of the beets on top of the tossed salad.
  7. Sprinkle with feta and walnuts. Drizzle with ½ tsp oil and ½ tsp vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. This recipe includes every part of the beet. If you’d like to eat the beets on their own, simply steam the beets and sprinkle with sea salt.
Adapted from Sarah Oudman's Beet Salad Recipe
Adapted from Sarah Oudman's Beet Salad Recipe
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

How Distribution Works

As you may already know, we follow the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, which is a partnership between a farm and a community of supporters.  You purchase a “share” of fall produce, and we provide you with fresh, naturally grown vegetables.  So what exactly does that look like?

Each week you’ll come to our farm and pick up your vegetables, an event we call “distribution.”  You’ll go to the milkhouse (the little white building behind our house), and you’ll see an array of produce laid out.  On the chalkboard, you’ll find a posting of produce that we have available, and how much of each vegetable each share type (full or half) will be receiving.  Find your name on the posted checklist to confirm your share type, then put a check next to your name to show that you’ve picked up your produce.  Dan or I will be there to answer any questions you may have.  If you’d like, we can give you a tour of the hoop house and the farm.  For our share members in the Rennselaer area, Dan will deliver your produce each week (of course, you are always welcome to come visit!).

AEK Milkhouse

Distribution Location: The Milkhouse

On our website we list what vegetables we’re planning on providing over the course of the next seven weeks.  We can predict but not guarantee what will be available each week.  We do our part by making and keeping planting schedules, providing the plants with water and nutrients, and protecting them from insects and disease.  But, obviously, we cannot control the weather or other external factors.  We choose to view this reality as an adventure, and we invite you to do the same.  If you come to distribution with excited anticipation (ooh, what will I get to cook with this week?) rather than specific expectations (they had carrots last week—where are they this week?), we think you’ll find the whole experience much more enjoyable.

Last year, I emailed a weekly newsletter with recipes and other information.  This year, instead of newsletters, you can check out this farm blog!  My goal is to post an in-depth recipe each week, where I focus on a specific vegetable in your share.  Photographer Anne Kingma and I will be working together on these posts so that you can have visual as well as written instructions.  I’ll also refer you to other cookbooks, recipes, and websites that I find useful.  We want to make incorporating your produce into your daily eating as easy and fun as possible, and we welcome your recipes and ideas for doing so as well.

Welcome!

Welcome to the Perkins’ Good Earth Farm blog!

This blog was created specifically for our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm members, but I hope others will find it useful as well.  The blog will feature practical information about how our farm operates, step-by-step recipes with photographs, suggestions for healthy (yet delicious!) eating, and every now and then a poem and/or philosophical musing.

If you like what you’re reading (and what you’re eating), I hope you’ll tell others about this blog and about our farm.  Happy reading and happy eating!

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