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Thank you “Better Homes & Gardens” for this really tasty recipe!  We all enjoyed it for supper tonight, and recommend it heartily to you!

Beet, Blue Cheese and Almond Salad

  • 7 medium beets
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • salt
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces creamy blue cheese (we didn’t put in this much, and we thought it was perfect with less)
  • 2-4 ounces of toasted almonds sliced or slivers, you choose
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, arugula, or cilantro

Trim and peel beets. Cut six beets in bite sized pieces. Place in a steamer rack over  a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and steam for 20-25 minutes until tender.

Coarsely grate the remaining beet, place in a large bowl. For dressing, mash the garlic with a pinch of salt to a paste, add to grated beet along with the oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. When the beets are cooked, toss them with the dressing. Cool to room temperature.

Crumble blue cheese over the salad and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

Makes 6 servings

I love love LOVE this soup!  It is satisfying, creamy, umami, with TONS of nutrition.  It is also a great way to use up A LOT of greens.  You could even make this soup when there are too many greens, freeze it in pint jars, and bring it to work for lunch throughout the year!

I originally heard about it on the Splendid Table.  I have copied it below, and made note of my changes…  Also, I usually only follow a recipe the first time, and then customize from there.  However, what is written down below is SO GOOD that I have made multiple batches following the exact same steps.  While I was visiting a friend I made it with olive oil instead of coconut oil and basmati rice instead of arborio rice.  It was good, but it didn’t have the same creamy and super satisfying mouth-feel as it does when I make it at home.  So, for best results, spring for the specialized ingredients listed below!

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Basic Green Soup

Reprinted from Eating Well by Anna Thomas. © 2011 Eating Well, Inc. Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 8 servings

To make ahead: Prepare through Step 4 (omitting the lemon), cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Season with lemon just before serving.

This kale, chard and spinach soup gets complex flavor from slowly cooked onions and lemon juice, while a sprinkle of rice gives it body and a velvety texture. Serve with a swirl of fruity, fragrant extra-virgin olive oil for richness.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish [I USE COCONUT OIL INSTEAD. IT IS A HEALTHIER COOKING OIL AND MAKES IT TASTE RICHER & MORE UMAMI. Unrefined coconut oil tastes and smells coconutty, while the refined coconut oil does not taste nor smell. Both are healthy high temperature oils and either will work well in this recipe. Save the olive oil for garnish & dipping bread in.]
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3 cups water, divided
  • 1/4 cup arborio rice (the kind used to make creamy risotto)
  • GREENS.  Aim for 1.75 -  2 pounds total, which is:
    • one (=~1/2#) bunch of KALE.  I recommend the Dino/Lacinato variety, which has more slender & darker leaves than the frilly kinds. It has the most nutrition of any kind of kale. Here is a nice article about the amazingness of Kale.
    • one (=~1/2#) bunch of CHARD (stems removed) or BEET GREENS
    • and ~14 cups  (=~3/4#) gently packed SPINACH leaves (tough stems removed).  For price and convenience, I recommend buying a bag of frozen spinach, which at my co.op comes already in the needed 12oz size, without any tough stems included.
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade [I USE CHICKEN BROTH, WHICH AGAIN MAKES IT TASTE RICHER AND MORE UMAMI.]
  • Big pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a generous 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes. [They basically turn into onion jelly, and add a lovely deep flavor to the soup.]
  3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add 1/4 cup arborio rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Trim the central rib out of the chard and kale leaves.
  5. Coarsely chop the thicker chard and kale greens.
  6. Coarsely chop the spinach leaves [if using fresh] and leave in a separate pile from the other greens. [If using frozen, you can skip this step and just be ready to open the bag and empty the contents into the pot later.]
  7. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the chard and kale greens. Return to a simmer; cover and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  8. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little water or some of the simmering liquid into them, loosening the scrapings on the bottom of the pan;
  9. To the pot of rice/kale/chard add the onions, 12 oz. spinach, 4 cups broth and the big pinch of cayenne.
  10. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes more.
  11. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth (or carefully use a regular blender and do it in batches). Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil.
  12. FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS SOUP!

Thanks to CSA member Cheryl for sharing this recipe!

“I’ve been waiting for the beets!  I make a great chocolate-beet cake. Its really yummy and it gets people to eat more vegetables.  The girls in the office love this easy way to eat beets!”

Chocolate Beet Cake

1 large beet peeled and grated like a carrot.
1 chocolate cake mix  made according to package instructions.
1 can chocolate frosting

Peel and grate one large, raw beet.  Make the cake mix according to package instructions and stir in the grated beet.

Bake slightly longer than the package instructions.  Test for doneness about five minutes longer.

Cool and frost the cake.

Thanks to CSA members Aisling & Siobhan for sharing a recipe and photo of how they enjoyed the veggies from CSA week #16!

 (For 4 people)
 
You need:
 
    * 1.5 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
    * 4 cups vegetable stock
    * 8 3/4 oz red cooked beets, peeled and diced
    * 1 large shallot (150 g) + 1 extra shallot
    * 1.5 oz parmesan grated and shaved
    * 9 Tbsp dry white wine
    * 1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped
    * 1 Tbsp basil, chopped
    * 2 Tbsp olive oil
    * 3 Tbsp butter
    * About 3 Tbsp pine nuts, dry-roasted
    * Salt and pepper
 
Steps:
 
    * Cook the beets, peel and dice them.
    * Chop the first shallot.
    * Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil with 1 Tbsp butter in a sauté pan. Add the shallot and cook for a few min before adding the diced beets.
      Cook for 5 mins or so on medium to low heat. Remove from heat.
    * Heat the vegetable stock and keep warm.
    * Chop the tarragon and basil.
    * Grate 2/3 of the parmesan. Shave the rest and keep on the side.
    * Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil with 1 Tbsp butter in a pot and add the second chopped shallot. Cook for 2 to 3 min before adding the rice to coat for 1 min.
    * Then add the white wine and cook until it is absorbed.
    * Add 1 ladleful of warm broth and wait until it is absorbed to add another one. Repeat until you have 1 ladleful left.
    * Add the beets and mix gently. Check your rice and add more broth accordingly.
    * Stop the heat, add the grated parmesan, the herbs and the rest of the butter. Cover and let rest for 2 min.
    * Serve with shaved parmesan, fresh basil leaves and dry-roasted pine nuts.

 
Here Siobhan and friends show off some beautiful carrot soup!
 

Serves 6, from the Lunds and Byerly’s fall 2008 edition of “Real Food” (their free magazine)

“How considerate of the beet to provide two vegetables in one: edible leaves and a bulbous root. Balsamic vinegar gets reduced by half to become a ruby syrup to glaze the beets. Vibrant bits of mint tie all the flavors together. This dish can be made in advance and gently reheated or served at room temperature.”

4 large beets, about 2 pounds, with beet tops attached
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 medium clove garlic
1 small bunch mint

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the stems and leafy greens from the beets and set them aside. Peel beets* and wrap in a very large piece of foil. Crimp edges tightly together to form a package. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 1.5 hours. When tender, a knife will penetrate beets easily. Open the package carefully and cut beets in half lengthwise and then across into 1/4-inch wide slices. Put in a large bowl and keep warm.

Meanwhile, put vinegar in a small saucepan. Add 1 clove garlic, pushed through a press. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes until reduced to 3 tablespoons.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut stems and leaves into 1-inch pieces and add to boiling water. Cook 5 minutes until tender. Drain well, squeezing extra water from beets. Add hot greens to warm beets and toss with olive oil. Add reduced vinegar and 1/3 cup coarsely chopped mint. Add salt and pepper to taste.

*from Chris: I haven’t made this recipe, but I wonder why one couldn’t boil the beets instead and skip the peeling & the 1.5 hours of baking in the homemade foil container? To boil the beets, cut stems off about an inch above the root, wash off the dirt, and throw it whole (with skin) into the boiling water. Boil until tender (fork goes in easy). Then, drain water and once the beets are cool enough to touch, you can easily rub the skins off. I cut them in a bowl to contain the staining juice: first cut in half, then spear with a fork and use the tines of the fork as a cutting guide to cut into slices. Then continue recipe as above…

Recipe from Epicurious, submitted by CSA member Aisling.

Yield: 8 first-course or 4 main-course servings

3 small beets, trimmed
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
1 large egg
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups flour, divided

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 3-inch-long fresh rosemary sprigs

Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour.
Cool 15 minutes. Slip skin off beets; discard skins. Coarsely grate beets. Place 3/4 cup grated beets in large bowl (reserve remaining beets for another use). Stir in ricotta, egg, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix in 1 cup flour. (Gnocchi dough can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Lightly dust baking sheet with flour. Place remaining 1/2 cup flour in small bowl. Using tablespoon measure as aid, scoop dough into rounds; transfer to bowl with flour, then roll each into 1 1/2 inch log. Hold in palm of hand and gently
press centers with fingertips to make slight indentations. Transfer gnocchi to prepared baking sheet. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Melt butter with rosemary sprigs in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Working in batches, cook gnocchi in large pot of simmering salted water until gnocchi float to surface, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook 1 1/2 minutes longer. Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to skillet with butter and rosemary. Heat butter and gnocchi over medium heat, stirring gently to coat. Transfer to plate; sprinkle generously with additional Parmesan cheese and serve.

 

Recipe Suggestion from Monica (who has cooked samples on delivery night for the Minneapolis members a couple times):

roast the carrots, onions, beets, zucchini, kohlrabi, cabbage, and the optional turnips and eggplant with rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil. Chop the stuff, mix it with the oil and spices so everything is coated, then put on a baking sheet in the oven and bake and/or broil until done.

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