Read The Laughing Chef's bio and previous
June 24, 2009
Making Beets Useful
When most people buy a bunch of beets, they tend to regard their
purchase as one kind of food. They wonder what to do with the bulbous
root, and answer the question of what to do with the tops by throwing
them out. Out of sight, out of mind.
few among us see this purchase as two kinds of food. We realize that the
beet greens themselves can be a useful food once a little effort is
applied. They answer the question of what to do with the stalks usually,
again, by throwing them away. Few are those among us who see this
purchase as a three-part play. The root can be eaten, but the stalks
themselves can also be eaten separately from the leaves. In this regard,
a purchase of a beet bunch is really an investment in multi-layered
cooking. A better deal you will not get if your grocery gives away its
Start with simple, eating a raw stalk. Note that its texture is like a
stalk of celery while also maintaining a slight hint of beet. In fact,
you may do all the things with it that you would do with a normal plate
of raw vegetables, on which you may indeed find beet root and celery
go a step further and make pasta. Think a moment of where we are to
descend beet stalk pasta and allow your mind to be blown just a
with all pasta dishes, we follow the rule of proportion. Cut your beet
stalks into two-or three-inch pieces. Proportionately, the pasta of
choice will be straightened bends of macaroni.
Hopefully you can find some in your grocery store and arent forced to
attempt to straighten dried macaroni elbows these efforts very nearly
always degenerate into the wailing and gnashing of teeth reserved for
While you are cooking the pasta, heat some olive oil and minced garlic.
These are the two necessary precursors to nearly every pasta dish
anyway. Then add the beet stalks and some minced onion.
You will perhaps notice that some of what appears to be a reddish fluid
is seeping out of the stalks, and may be concerned that the stalks are
in fact bleeding from being cut.
They are, and you may flee in terror if you like. Or you may take this
as a very natural process and cook the beet stalks until they are
Once done, finish this quick sauce off with some lemon juice and dill
weed. Both are natural accompaniments to beet stalks and greens and will
give your little side pasta dish some flavor not normally associated
with pasta. Thats frankly OK with the beet stalks, since being normal
is not what they are all about.
Meanwhile, drain the pasta while setting aside a little of the water to
assist the sauce in coating all of the pasta. Salt and pepper to taste,
and consider serving alongside either chicken or maybe even fish.
North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
Click here to talk to our writers and
editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.
To e-mail feedback
about this column,
click here. If you enjoy this writer's
work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry
This is Column
Request permission to publish here.