Saturday, November 20, 2010

How Well do you know your Roots?

They can be red, white, or orange. They can be round, oval, or oblong.  They can be sweet, bitter, or mild. Even the tops are edible. They are fall's favorites - root vegetables.

1st picture (l-r) - beets, turnips, daikon radish.
2nd picture (l-r) - turnips, rutabaga. Notice the difference in the color.

They can be roasted, boiled, stir fried, baked, juiced, or grated into salads. When eaten with greens or orange roots such as sweet potatoes and carrots, the food combinations work together to provide the highest nutritional value because the lighter colored roots release chemicals in digestion that aid the absorption of the beta-carotene, or cancer-fighting agents, found in the the darker colored veges.

Beets and Spinach Salad

First, wash 3-4 small-to-medium-sized beets really good. Boil in water for 50 minutes, or brush with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 1 hour. Allow to cool slightly. Then, dice the cooked beets.

In a heavy-bottom saucepan (I prefer my fam-favorite iron skillet) heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add 1/3 cup orange juice, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp fennel seeds. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Add diced beets; stir gently to coat. Remove from heat.

Wash, pat dry, and arrange spinach leaves in a salad bowl. Spoon warm beets on top and drizzle the remaining orange juice syrup mixture over salad. Serve and enjoy!

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