Guys, I have so many completed recipes on deck and in the hole and climbing up the mast and sitting in the crow’s nest, waiting to be posted about. I just gotta find the WORDS. Like, a 5-layer cake and some pre-redeye ginger-peach jam and some egg dishes and possibly something else that I can’t remember right now on account of having flown into NY this morning on said redeye and not so much “slept” as “threw my neck into awkward positions for 5 hours.”
Well so anyway, I’ll tell you about the beets, which were too pretty at the farmer’s market to be ignored. I pickled them in tarragon vinegar, which was amazing because I had a full bottle of tarragon vinegar that I bought in a Whole Foods moment of poshness, thinking I was going to “whip up some tarragon vinaigrette,” only to discover I hated the taste of tarragon vinegar on my salads. And using up something you’re not crazy about seems like some extra feat of fortitude. Sometimes I get that feeling when I buy a face lotion and end up not liking it but I soldier on because I’m so very brave and I reach the end of it and I’m like, THAT IS RIGHT, I did not throw that lotion out, that is not how I was raised, I USED IT, and now I get to buy the lotion that I LIKE. That’s how it was with this vinegar.
It works here with the beets though, and I’m not sure why. The only thing I can point to is that Alton Brown told me to, so I did it, and he was right.
Also, yeah, I downloaded Instagram, which you will all have to deal with. I know, I can’t even stand myself. It’s just that I am a self-proclaimed shitty photographer, and instagram softens the holy mess that I sometimes capture with my iphone. Plus I don’t have to open Photoshop ever, which is such a relief to my poor, overworked Macbook (this post brought to you by apple. just kidding, I would never sell out! [yes i would, apple]). Is it communism for photography? Sure. But I am no Harrison Bergeron, and this is no art gallery. I’m trying to be utilitarian-ish about this, because then I don’t have to fuss with f-stops and lighting. Like, god help me if I have to organize my food in a light box before taking a picture. I’m covered in flour/vinegar/tomato sauce/rice/salt/water/butter over here! Come on! Though, check out my vase of flowers that cannot be killed. Nice touch, right? All class over here.
I brought an entire jar of these to work and have been slowly making my way through them with the help of my coworkers. The other day I made a killer (humbly, as it were) panzanella and added some to the mix. Basically, having picked beets on hand is really really really really really nice. It is life-improving. You can just sprinkle them on whatever-what-have-you you’re eating. And it takes a very short amount of actual work-time to do it. I did this in between episodes of Frozen Planet. Pickled beets and Frozen Planet dvds and that clip of that mini pig walking down those stairs and jumping into a bowl of oatmeal are probably the best things ever for this very moment as I type.
adapted from Alton Brown
Roasted Beets, recipe follows
1 large red onion, frenched
1 cup tarragon wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
Remove the skin from the Roasted Beets and slice thinly (I made mine into large matchsticks). Arrange in 1-quart jars alternating layers with the onion (I omitted the onion and missed it not). In a small pot boil the rest of the ingredients and pour over the beets. Tightly lid the jars and place in the refrigerator for 3 to 7 days before serving.
6 medium beets, cleaned with 1-inch stem remaining
2 large shallots, peeled
2 sprigs rosemary
2 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl toss all of the ingredients (I omitted the shallots and rosemary, whatever). Place into a foil pouch and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.