Whenever we get beets in our CSA box I think of Danuta, a lovely and talented baker at Deer Valley. Dana is from Poland, in fact she spends every summer there. Dana once commented that the beets here in the US don’t taste very good—but that’s because she is buying her American beets at the grocery store and not from Ranui Gardens. John’s beets are very sweet and taste like they are supposed to and red cylindrical beets have a reputation of being the sweetest of them all.
I prefer to roast beets in the oven—as opposed to boiling them. I think it keeps more flavor inside the beet. Just trim all but one inch of the tail, and put them in a covered casserole with a bit of water at 350 degrees. While you are at it roast a head of garlic as well.
Once the beets are tender when poked with a fork, let them cool, then slip the peel away under running water. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Many weeks, we kind of hoard our beets, slicing just one on top of the Ranui lettuce mix.
Here is a lovely dressing for such a salad.
Lemon Basil and Walnut Vinaigrette
1/4 cup good-quality red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup chopped lemon basil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Mix the vinegar, mustard, garlic and salt with a whisk in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking to incorporate. Stir in the walnuts, chopped basil and pepper.