Friday, May 20, 2011

there will be BEETS tonight!

If you ask me what my favorite movie is, and I only get to choose one, I'll probably say it's The Princess Bride. I've owned several copies in my life (recorded VHS, official VHS, official DVD), and I have nearly all of it memorized.

(Inquiring minds want to know other favorites? A Room with a View, Sense and Sensibility, Center Stage, Shag, The Royal Tenenbaums and Little Miss Sunshine consistently make the list.)

In The Princess Bride, when Inigo has sobered up and he and Fezzik are planning their revenge on Count Rugen, Inigo makes a bold statement: "There will be BLOOD tonight!" Then he and Fezzik go find the man in black, and Andre the Giant gets to yell "Everybody move!"

Wednesday, when I was planning on beets for dinner, I couldn't stop saying (in my Inigo accent, obvi), "There will be BEETS tonight!" in my head. I didn't say it out loud because I didn't want everyone to think I was a crazy person.

I'm only confessing now because I couldn't think of another post title and I figured you'd want to know my reason.

Moving on.

I made beets. We got 4 beautiful beets in our CSA box this week (more on the CSA box soon), and they had their gorgeous greens still attached. I'd never had beet greens, and I wanted to make a dinner that highlighted the whole vegetable. I decided to tweak Angela's lightened up protein power goddess bowl, and here's what I did:

I cooked my beets in foil, as prescribed by Mark Bittman, earlier in the day. When they were cool, I peeled and chopped them, turning my fingers a fantastic shade of beet pink (new favorite color? I think so). The angle of the phote definitely makes my freakishly long fingers look even more alien, right? Hello, I'm fuschia ET saying "phone home." (Too many movies today? Go visit EDW's blog for real movie blogging.)
I followed Angela's recipe for the lemon tahini dressing exactly, and I blended it up while I cooked lentils and brown rice.

When it came time to cook dinner, I sauteed an onion, some garlic, and the beet green stems (you can eat these too!) in olive oil. Then I added the beet greens, which had been torn into smaller pieces, and let them wilt a bit. Next I stirred in my chopped beets, along with lentils, brown rice, and the full batch of lemon tahini dressing. I stirred in fresh parsley and served the second of two bizarre looking dinners this week.
My mom is visiting, so there were 3 of us testing out the beet greens. None of us had ever had them before, and I'm happy to proclaim the stem and greens my favorite part of the beet. The stems were just slightly crunchy, and the greens had a lovely flavor and texture. The beets themselves? I'm not sure I love cooked beets. I like them roasted, along with other root vegetables, and I like them raw, in salads, but just cooked? Not my favorite.
Mommers really liked the whole bowl, and I have to say that lentils, rice, and lemon tahini dressing do complement the roots well. Edwin and I are pretty much on the same page as far as beet roots are concerned: we like them, but we don't love them. I would have preferred my bowl still pink, but without the actual chunks of beet root.
As for the greens? I'm ready for Billy Crystal to push on my stomach so the words "true love" can escape my mostly dead mouth.

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