Featured Vegetable for April 2007: Beets
These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease,
birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. The pigment that gives beets their rich, purple-
crimson color—betacyanin—is also a powerful cancer-fighting agent.
How to select and store
It’s best to store beets that have their tops chopped off in individual plastic bags in the coolest part of the
refrigerator. These should last up to one week. The greens should be eaten as soon as possible. Wash and
scrub the beets before cooking. Beets peel best after cooking, so be sure to wear disposable gloves to
minimize red stains on hands.
FEATURED RECIPE: Harvard Beets
2 bunches beets with tops (2 pounds)
3 small red onions (1 pound), not peeled
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim all but 1 inch of stems from beets. Place beets and onions in nonstick oven-safe 10-inch skillet (if skillet is
not oven-safe, wrap handle with double layer of foil) or in 13 by 9-inch baking pan; drizzle with oil. Roast,
shaking skillet occasionally, until onions have softened and beets are tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes,
transferring vegetables to plate as they are done.
In same skillet, combine broth, vinegar, brown sugar, and thyme; heat to boiling over high heat. Boil, stirring
and scraping bottom of skillet, until vinegar mixture is dark brown and syrupy and has reduced to about 1/4
cup, 5 to 7 minutes; stir in salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
When cool enough to handle, peel beets and onions. Cut beets into 1/4-inch-wide matchstick strips and onions
into thin rounds; place in bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over vegetables and toss until coated. Sprinkle with
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