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I (kind of) started a CSA with a local, self-sustaining local farm! 🙂

I say kind of because it is sort of a trial run for them. What is great for me is I am an “inventive cook” – I just take whatever I have and figure it out from there. What is awesome about this farm (and knowing the farmers personally) is that I was able to explain that I would pay them my weekly fee – this was not a pay up front deal – and I would get the produce of their choosing.

I would like to say that I am by no means a vegetarian; but I did choose to only do produce this summer. The farm sells eggs, beef, pork and chicken as well. You can check them out here, and if you happen to be close by I highly recommend going to check them out! And how fantastic are they that they have a WordPress site 🙂

My first week of goodies was VERY exciting! Two different kinds of kale, beets, radishes, snow peas, a few varieties of lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, scallions (green onions) and garlic scape (green garlic – kind of the same idea as scallions, but for garlic).

First haul!

First haul!

So now that I am inadvertently a semi-vegetarian; I wanted to ensure that I wasn’t going to lose out on awesome food – and I mean, who doesn’t love some awesome food?!

Today’s recipe from the organic, farm-fresh produce is Roasted Beets.

Beets are actually kind of scary looking – from their unwelcoming outer layer to their dye-your-hands-and-teeth red coloring, they are not very inviting. I also think people are turned off to them from the weird canned pickled beet things you can get in the grocery store. But alas, fresh roasted beets are a delight!

beet3Start with the whole scary beet. Cut off the root-y parts from the bottoms and the leafy parts from the top (save these though!!). While this is all happening, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

beet2What you are left with is a scary looking meat cleaver and some ready-to-peel vegetables! Get out that peeler and start a-peeling.

beetDyed red hands are inevitable, so just go along with it and don’t touch your clothes! This washes off with soap and water.

Now, cut your beets into 1/4 inch cubes and simply put them in a roasting pan or glass baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper to your desire and roast for 15 or so minutes…until they are done to your desire. I am a fan of slightly over-cooked and crispy vegetables; but I still didn’t keep these in the oven for more than twenty or so minutes. Salt and pepper to taste if desired.

If you are feeling spicy – which I also was – put in some additions. As I mentioned before, I had garlic scape. I simply cut this into small pieces, much like I would with scallions, and added it into the baking dish with the beets.

I did not get a great photo of the finished product; but a quick Google search turned up another WordPress-er with a fantastic photo (and recipe) for roasted beets, Kitchen Overlord.

These are great as a side dish – and I have also been adding them into my salads (with the farm-fresh lettuce!) straight from the fridge.

So remember how I mentioned to not toss out the beet leaves? BLANCH THEM!

Boil some water and once you really get it going, toss in the beet leaves for two minutes. Immediately drain them and dunk them in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Let these drain.

In a skillet, get a few table spoons of olive oil heated up with salt and pepper. Add in scallions and garlic scape (see what I am doing here? Use everything you have!) and once these is all heated and browned to your desire, add in the beet leaves. If they are still wet you might get a little intense water-on-a-hot-skillet action, but no worries! Coat the olive oil mixture evenly onto the beet leaves and you have a great side dish for a protein based meal.