Every Sunday morning during the summer, the Baltimore Farmer's Market and Bazaar sets up under a stretch of I-83 in mid-town Baltimore. Here, local farmers show up to sell their produce, fresh eggs, fresh meat, flowers, and herbs. There are also food trucks and carts, local vendors selling homemade candles, mead, decorated hula hoops -- basically anything you can imagine one might sell at a Farmer's Market. Since moving to Baltimore, Jeff and I have gone every Sunday to stock up for the week on whatever looks the freshest and the tastiest! We've been planning our meals around our weekly haul from the market.
Last week, among others, we brought home some great beets. Beets can be intimidating because they are so gross looking when you buy them, they need to be peeled, and their juice is aggressive and likes to stain everything: your hands, your counter tops, and your clothes if you aren't careful.
Tips for Cleaning and Peeling Beets:

  • Run the beet root under warm water and use your fingers to gently scrub the surface clean.
  • Use a sharp knife to lob off the undesirable ends
  • Wear latex gloves if you want to avoid pink fingertips! (I don't do this)
  • Use a plastic cutting board, they can be easier to clean off beet juice than their wooden counterpart
  • Use a sharp knife to carefully peel the beet, just like you would a potato. I usually put the flat end down on the cutting board and then use the knife to cut off the edges.

Once your beets are clean and peeled, my cooking method is roasting. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, coat them in a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and throw them in the oven for 35-45 minutes, depending on how small your dice is. Once they're done, let them cool and throw them into whatever you're cooking!

A few suggestions:

  • Roasted beet and feta salad over arugula, add in some lemon juice and scallions and this is a light and scrumptious side dish!
  • Throw 'em on a pizza! With a pesto base, topped with beets, kale, and goat cheese, this would definitely be a pizza for the books!
  • Try the roasted beet and swiss chard risotto I made this week! It was pretty tasty! It's also very pink, so keep that in mind. 
    Roasted Beet and Swiss Chard Risotto
    Serves 4
    A delicious way to use up those beets from the farmer's market! We served with salmon on the side, but this could be a great side dish for beef, or as a main if you're looking for a hearty vegetarian dish!
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    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr 30 min
    Total Time
    1 hr 40 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr 30 min
    Total Time
    1 hr 40 min
    For the Beets
    1. 4 medium beets, peeled and diced
    2. 1 tbs olive oil
    3. s&p
    For the Risotto
    1. 1 tbs olive oil + 1 small pat of butter
    2. 1-2 shallots, diced
    3. 2 cloves garlic, crushed or small dice
    4. 1 cup arborio rice
    5. 1/2 cup dry rose or dry white wine
    6. 3 cups chicken broth, heated (use the lower sodium variety)
    7. Juice from 1/2 an orange
    8. Pinch of nutmeg
    9. Leaves from 3 stalks of swiss chard, rough chop
    10. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    11. s&p to taste
    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and dice your beets, put them onto a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Toss with 1 tbs olive oil, s&p. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until tender.
    2. In a dutch oven or large saute pan heat 1 tbs olive oil and a pat of butter over medium heat. When the butter and oil are hot, add in the shallots. Let them cook for a few minutes before adding in the garlic. Add the rice and toss to coat in the oil. Let cook for a couple minutes, add in the wine and reduce the heat to low.
    3. Let the rice absorb the wine and when it looks to be absorbed, add in the chicken stock, ½ or ¾ cup at a time. Add in the stock, stir and let the rice absorb the liquid. When the liquid is absorbed, add more stock. This process should take about 20 minutes.
    4. As you add the last portion of broth to your rice, add in the roasted beets and chopped swiss chard. Add a pinch of nutmeg and the orange juice, stir to combine. Continue stirring until the liquid has been mostly absorbed and the risotto is now a pink color.
    5. Add in the Parmesan cheese, stir to combine, and serve!
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