About Beets and Heirloom Tomatoes, and Recipes too!

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Chioggia Beets

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Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomato

Heirloom tomatoes are remarkably flavorful, which are grown from old-fashioned varieties, they come in all shapes, sizes and color, most are on the ugly side. But on this one, do not judge by appearance alone, most heirlooms are sweeter and juicer then conventional tomatoes. Here they turn gazpacho into something really special.

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 2 lb heirloom tomatoes- roughly chopped plus reserve one of alternating color for contrast to add to top after chilling
  • 1 clove of garlic- roughly chopped
  • 1 large cucumber- peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium pepper, bell of any color, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of celery or parsley leaves
  • 1/2 small red onion- roughly chopped
  • 1 small hot pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of vinegar, red wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions

  1. In blender combine tomatoes, and garlic; puree until smooth, transfer to large bowl
  2. In blender combine cucumber, bell pepper, celery, onions, hot pepper, and 1 cup of ice cubes- puree to a slightly chunky texture. Add to tomatoes in the bowl. Stir oil vinegar and salt, cover and chill
  3. Just before serving cut remaining tomato into small dice. Divide gazpacho into 4 shallow bowls, top with diced tomato, maybe a sprig of cilantro if you have some and serve.

Each serving about 1 1/2 cup

Beets

In July, we experience a literal red-shift in the garden. The greens of May and June give way to deeply colored tomatoes, cabbages, eggplants, peppers, and beets. Their pigments play important roles in plant chemistry, and also provide visual clues to the insects that pollinate them. The same visual clues lead humans, visually and viscerally, to what’s good for them. The packets of pigment that delight our eyes with brilliant oranges, yellows, reds and purples also delight the other cells of our body with carotenoids and anthocyanidins — powerful antioxidants that protect against cancer and other chronic diseases. The red and yellow hues in corn, carrots, and tomatoes come from the carotenoids. The jewel-tones of strawberries, cherries, blueberries, red cabbage, and, of course, beets are anthocyanidin molecules of red, blue, and purple. In addition to their wonderful anti-oxidant effects, beets are low in calories and high in vitamins (especially C, B3, and B6), minerals (especially iron, manganese, magnesium, and potassium) and fiber. So the bright red of the beet attracts us, and the truth behind the beauty is the truth of life-enhancing phytochemicals and nutrients.

Classic Red– big, beautiful red beets for beet salads, beet soups, and all manner of beet dishes.

Golden– this is the mildest beet, whose main claim to fame, in restaurants anyway, is that it does not bleed onto the plate or into other things on the plate.

Chioggia — this is the sweetest beet on the block, an heirloom from Chioggia, near Venice. It is a rosy-orange-red on the outside with alternating rings of white and bright pink on the inside when raw. Cooked, the interior is a golden yellow, with a slight blush. It is exceptionally sweet and tender. Avoid overcooking to retain the delicate flavor. Or, try coarsely grating them on top of a salad for an unusual garnish. Beet green lovers take note: Chioggia’s greens are fantastic– pale green, with a flavor and texture of fine, young, Swiss chard.

Raw Beet Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb beets- any variety( you may add carrots or fennel for an even more beautiful and lively salad)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoon minced cutting celery, mint or parsley ( or a combo)
  • salt to taste
  • Lettuce, or greens to line you serving bowl

Directions

Peel beets and grate by hand or a food processor. Combine orange and lemon juice, and olive oil, Toss with beets and herbs. Season to taste with salt. Line serving bowl with greens and then top with beet salad.

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad

Ingredients

  • 4-5 beets (any variety or a nice mix of colors)
  • 3 bulbs fennel
  • 3 or more Tb olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped fennel fronds, tarragon, mint, or other herb for garnish

Directions Wash and trim the tops and tails of the beets and fennel. Cut the beets into quarters or eighths. Cut the fennel in halves or quarters. Place on a baking sheet or heavy roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 360 for about 40 minutes or until fork tender. Cool to room temperature. Arrange on a bed of arugula. Drizzle with more olive oil if you like, and then sprinkle with chopped fresh herb of your choice. Finish with dollops of fresh chevre from fellow Farmers Market of the Ozarks vendor Terrell Creek Farm. * If you’re wondering what to do with the fennel fronds, put them on the grill and place fish on top. The aromatics of the fennel will infuse the fish as it slowly cooks.

Beet information thanks to Henry’s Farm, a fellow CSA farm a few states away http://www.blog.brockmanfamilyfarming.com/

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Bulb Fennel

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One Response to About Beets and Heirloom Tomatoes, and Recipes too!

  1. Pingback: About Beets and Heirloom Tomatoes, and Recipes too! « Millsap … | ClubEvoo

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