Sunday, August 10, 2008

greenmarket cooking continues, this week's inspiration

This week at the greenmarket beets are in season! I never knew that you could eat the tops of beets. But I have been stir frying them with the tops of carrots, something else I just assumed you threw away, but did you know that both beet greens and carrot greens are nutritious and delicious containing many of the vitamins and nutrients in both plants. The beet leaves are actually quite sweet. I've been adding fresh peaches to my stir fries as well because they are also so in season and delicious now.

I've been roasting the beets themselves and having them in salads and just on their own. They are wonderful and chock full of so many vitamins and nutrients. You just need to be careful when you cut them and cook them, not for anything health related, but because they make a mess with their deep red color which can stain cutting boards and roasting pans. I've been cooking them in their skins in aluminum foil in the oven (I might switch to earthenware given the aluminum absorption problem) for about 30-40 minutes. I don't even bother peeling them (I've scrubbed them prior), the skins sort of melt off and you can just slice the beets and enjoy them at this point with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper. I enjoy them in a salad with goat cheese or just on their own. I try to cut them over newspaper after I scrub them really well. I've been hearing that it is not necessary to peel beets, carrots and other vegetables we always assumed we had to peel. Instead, I scrub them vegetables well, flick off the visible dirt with a knife or use a vegetable spray to get the grit off - but eat the peel which contains many nutrients and much of the vegetable's fiber.

I've been eating a lot of fresh corn and summer squash too. Heirloom tomatoes. I don't even like tomatoes, but the heirlooms, especially the yellow ones are just delicious. They taste like the tomatoes in Greece and Israel. Try them! Visit to find out where your local farmers market is and how you can get your hands on this fresh produce. Give me a call if you need a recipe or some help navigating the market. I'll be teaching at Strangers Gate on 106th and Central Park West through the end of August and some Fridays in Union Square.

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