Beets are one of those foods that, sadly, taste like beets. Explaining their flavor is like explaining the taste of millk. Milk taste like milk. Other things also taste like milk, but when you milk tastes like, say, cheese, it's not really milk anymore.
I like beets.
It's. Strange really. I never had them growing up, they were always the slightly alien things in salad bars, a running joke on 'Doug'. Dark red, nearly black circles, sometimes cut into little matchstick like shreds. In a careful bowl next too the bacon bits and the sliced eggs, olives and cheese laid out like offerings to a hungery god. Mom always took a few, she liked them but they never graced our table. They were resturant fare, the sort of thing that you didn't make for yourself, like shaved ice and lattes, French fries and tamales.
Then one day, on some unknown whim beets appeared in the fridge. They were just there, contriving to look natural in a new enviroment they were clearly unused too.
It fell to me to dispatch them, chopping the tops off, the skinny tails. Put them in cool water and watch them bleed it pink while the range clicks and spits out fire.
They stain the water ruby by the end, and my artistic, grubby little soul wishes that the beets had been cleaner, so that this colorful natural dye could be put to use boiling pasta into a magenta tangle.
Holding the now defeated roots under cold water, it only takes a twist of the wrist to flay them, leave them naked. Without the skin, cells broken by heat, there is nothing they cannot stain. I slice them and the steel needs rinsing.
I've never really trusted skinny chefs on tv. Surrounded by food all day, I used to wonder how they moved at all. My veiws have relaxed somewhat, but i still beleive that taste testing in the kitchen is important.
The sliced beets were impossible to resist. There had been three, but only one and possibly a half made it to the table.
I like them a lot, as I found out to the rest of the familys dismay.
I think the color is what's the most seductive though, particularly with goat cheese. The red turns to vibrant pink in every soft white granule, the sides of the bowl get painted.
In the case of tonights salad, even the edges ofthe romaine are not immune to the pigmented root juice.
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