Monday, February 11, 2008

rave on beets or betteraves

dinner to make.seasonal a must, local preferred. Oven at 400, I place the white(!), golden,chiogga and baby reds on a alu sheet, brush a dab of olive oil on their witchy skin with crusty moles and long hairy side roots.Set at 58 minutes while I take a litterary nap (booker prize 2007) with my swiss chocolate (Frigor) as a childhood comfort.Speaking of, the house is slowly envelopped in a sweet chocolaty smell.These beets are truly amazing.Significant said later" I thought you were baking brownies....!!"I wonder for a second, what a sugar beet factory must smell like:a little odorous treat for northern folks in a desolate landscape.... I have to roast them for another 30 minutes, before they are knife friendly.After cooling, I remove the skins, and there, I have to apply my yogic attitude and take the job calmly and slowly as some skins have caramelized and decided to stay glued.But it is all worth it in the end:vinaigrette of blood orange juice and zest,shallots,champagne vinegar and olive oil,and plated with nicoise olives, a sprinkling of piment d'espelette and slices of blood oranges.oregano leaves scattered and bud placed for color.
Back in Paris,when I was growing up, beets salads were common.The beets were always sold already cooked,( even at outdoors markets), probably boiled in big copper pots ( my vision).They were always red .We only had to rub off the thick skins that would come off soft and fleshy , like peeling a fresh wound. My mother would always cut them in little cubes, and often served them as a mixed salad of beets and mache, which is a French classic bistro pairing.
I love both styles.

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