Today I pay dual homage to the late great Michael Jackson and my favorite vegetable of the week with a sweet and easy recipe I adapted from "The Vegetable Dishes I can't live without" by Mollie Katzen of the Moosewood cookbook fame.
Take a bunch of beets with stems and leaves: cut the stems, leaving about an inch of stem on the beets. Scrub the beets, trim off stringy roots, and wrap in foil (still damp - the moisture will help steam). Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour, or until soft when stabbed. After they cool a bit, you can rub off the skins and chop coarsely. Meanwhile, trim stems off greens and wash - you can chop the stems to eat, or discard. When the baking beets are almost ready, chop leaves and stems into bite-sized pieces and saute with olive oil, minced garlic, dash of salt until halfway wilted (saute stems first, as they take longer to soften). Add the chopped baked beets to the cooking pot, then saute to desired level of wiltedness.
Recently I heard a farmer say that the best way to get kids to eat beets is to tell them that it'll turn their poo red... incidentally, this trick may work on some curious adults too, or at least serve as a warning for hypochondriacs!
My garden is churning out so many zucchini lately that I'm alternately freezing them and giving them away. My Busy Person's Guide to Preserving Food book is getting a good workout. And I'm shopping for an Energy Star chest freezer, but the selection out there isn't what I would've thought, considering the rebates that are available... or maybe the stores I've hit are just picked over already? I'm also shopping for a nice big stainless steel pot to try my hand at canning this summer... any suggestions?