The beets are in.
I'd say it's pretty rewarding to venture out to the patch and pluck up these hardy roots. Perhaps more than their above-ground neighbors, beets, carrots and radishes seem to give me the most sense of wonder. I suppose since I can't see what's going on down there I am naturally curious and genuinely giddy when I can finally see what they've been up to for so many weeks...
Good job, beets - way to grow!
Mixed Beet Salad with Anise Hyssop
(adapted from the recipe for Red and Golden Beets with Anise Hyssop from Deborah's Madison's book: Local Flavors)
6 medium Chioggia beets
6 medium Detroit Dark Red beets
salt and pepper
1/2 a medium red onion, sliced into very thin rounds (use a mandoline if available)
1 1/2 Tb. Champagne vinegar
1 large sprig of flat-leaf parsley
1 large sprig of anise hyssop
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine the sliced onions and vinegar in dish, sprinkle with salt and refrigerate while you prepare the beets.
Wash, trim and peel the Chioggia beets. Quarter them and place them in a shallow roasting pan. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with just a pinch of salt. Roast the beets in the oven just until fork tender - about 35 minutes, depending on their size. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
While the Chioggia beets are roasting, wash and steam the Detroit Dark Red beets until fork tender - about 35 minutes, depending on their size. Place the cooked beets in a colander and run cold water over them until cool, rubbing the skins off as you rinse. Trim and thinly slice the peeled beets into rounds.
Layer the sliced Detriot Dark Red beets on a platter, scatter the quartered Chioggia beets over them. Top the beets with the onion slices and pour a bit of the soaking vinegar over the dish. Finely chop the parsley and hyssop to garnish the salad. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If you have them, scatter over the top a few hyssop blossoms or nasturtium flowers to finish the dish.