Our winter harvest has been a big one this year – typically we’ll pull some scrawny beets and carrots, clip a couple of chard stems and be done with it. I never expect the winter harvest to give us much produce, which is why we supplement with a CSA box. With the extra San Diego rain this year, we’ve got Pacific-Northwest-sized veggies coming out of the ground, so it’s been a little bit of a battle to stay ahead of the produce!
Luckily, God invented the internet. I’ve been scouring CSA websites that are conveniently organized by vegetable for ideas. A few of my faves:
I yanked 1/3 of the beet harvest and realized that I had a serious issue on my hands – big beets, and lots of ’em!
Roasted Beets with Quinoa, Caramelized Onions and Sausage
3-4 large beets, including their greens
1 large onion, diced
olive oil and butter
sausage (I used half of a kielbasa, about 1 cup sliced into 1″ slices)
Separate the beets from their greens and make sure they’re well washed. Roast the beets, wrapped in foil at 400° for about 1 hour or until a knife enters them easily. While they’re roasting, get to cookin’ on the other pieces.
Add enough olive oil and butter (in equal-ish parts) to a medium pan to coat. Put on medium heat and toss, then cook them down to their most lovely yellow caramelized state. Stir occasionally while they cook – it should take about 45 minutes until you start drooling.
Rinse the quinoa and put it in 1-1/2c salted cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Let it cook, covered, for about 30 minutes (the liquid should all disappear), then fluff with a fork. Set aside.
You can return your attention to the onions now – at the end of their cooking time, add a good splash of balsamic vinegar (I had some pomegranate balsamic, which was heavenly!). This will reduce and glaze the onions, adding a little extra sweetness and bite at the same time. Add the sliced sausage and stir to combine.
Separate your beet greens from their stems and chop both into bite-sized pieces, keeping them separate. The stems will take a couple of extra minutes, so add them to the onions first. Add the beet greens and cover for a minute or two, allowing them to steam into the dish. Remove from heat, salt and pepper to taste.
Peel and chop the roasted beets and, depending on your red-food-squeamish-factor, you can either stir the whole mess together (greens, beets and quinoa), or serve them buffet style.
This dish was hearty and comforting without being heavy, and was even better the next day for lunch. Next time I’ll try tossing some red pepper flakes in the mix as a contrast to the sweetness of the onions and beets.
Now to tackle all this lettuce…