Sweet Beet Treat & More
Thanks to my hours on the farm Saturday and Monday, I was able to get quite the cornucopia of farm produce for this recipe. So much is coming into season, it might get a tad challenging to keep up with it all here on the blog. Two beauties I couldn’t wait to try out were the Purple Top Turnips and the Candy Cane Beets.
Now, since this blog is a bit of an experimental journey for most of us, including myself, I have to confess that before last night I had never eaten a turnip in my life. And growing up, my family grew plenty of beets but we only ever ate them canned during the winter. I have fond memories of helping my mom prepare those beets by roasting them in the oven and peeling off the hot skins afterwards. Funny how we never thought to dig in right then and there… It was the memory of that sweet caramelized smell wafting through the kitchen that prompted me to compile this roasted vegetable medley.
How crazy is that beet inside? I almost couldn’t bring myself to eat it. I can see why they call it the Candy Cane variety.
Another experimental addition to the recipe was jicama, a vegetable common in Hispanic cooking. While not a product of the farm, I wanted to give this root vegetable a try after seeing it prepared for salsa on PBS’s Simply Ming. While it was good roasted, it was sensational raw! Give it a try if you can find it in the produce section of your store. (In the picture above, it’s the big brown thing right in front of the olive oil.)
Don’t throw away the turnip, beet and kohlrabi greens you trim off the top of the vegetables for the recipe below. I have a good use for them in the next post, coming shortly. Just store them in a sealed bag with a damp paper towel in the meantime.
ROASTED VEGETABLE MEDLEY
The following medley just happened to be available at the farm this week, but you can use any combination of these vegetables as you find/like them.
4 large radishes
2 kohlrabies, peeled
1 medium jicama, peeled
6 baby leeks, roots trimmed off but left whole
4 garlic cloves
4 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 T. herbs de provence (mixture of dried thyme, basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, dill, etc.)
3 t. salt (kosher or sea variety preferred)
2 t. fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Wash and dry all the vegetables. Trim off all stems and leaves. Peel off any blemishes from beets, turnips, potatoes and radishes, but leave on the majority of the skin. Cut all vegetables, except the leeks, into fairly uniform cubes about 3/4 inch in diameter. The smaller you cut them, the faster they will cook. Place vegetable cubes on the cookie sheet and drizzle wiht olive oil, reserving 1 tablespoon. Toss and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs. Toss again to coat evenly. Place uncovered into the oven.
After 50 minutes, take the cookie sheet out of the oven. Turn over the vegetables as best you can (some may stick). You should see the edges browning nicely. Drizzle baby leeks with remaining olive oil and some salt and pepper. Place on top of other vegetables on the tray and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and golden brown. After plating up, if desired, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar.
(serves 6 as a side dish)