CSA Challenge: BEETS

I LOVE my CSA ... a bit obsessively, actually. I can count 4 summer subscribers who joined in 2010 based on my recommendation, and there's the checkout guy at Whole Foods and my boss's wife whom the jury is still out on. This week, they messed up my order for the first time (EVER) and I sent an email along the lines of "IloveyousomuchBUT" and after sorting the issue out, I received this email:

I smiled. I beamed. Then I realized I might be too emotionally attached to the people that bring me dirty produce in a box once a week.

But last week's box brought a CSA challenge that I ignored all last summer. Last year, I learned to love onions (seriously, how did I ever make soup without them?), eggplant (apparently sweating it takes the bitterness away ... and eggplant burgers are delish), and Price learned to love squash. It was a triumphant 6 months. We even found a "tolerable" recipe for kohlrabi this year (check it out: kohlrabi apple slaw).

And then there were BEETS.

I tried to pawn them off on my lovely sister-in-law, but she said "don't give up on beets". The radishes, however, she fully gave me permission to ignore. Because who likes radishes? I'm deftly ignoring this article in Slate today, even if Mark Bittman does say sesame oil makes radishes tolerable.

But the BEETS. (I capitalize them because they sit formidably in my fridge. They should be capitalized, because they are a foreboding challenge. At least, they were ... )

And then, Epicurious came to the rescue. Because Epicurious always comes to the rescue!


It suddenly seemed possible. Risotto? Goat Cheese? I like those things. And so, I tried. And conquered! (Well, Price would argue that we chose an extremely safe recipe with which to "conquer" our strong dislike of beets. I agree, but hey - WE ATE BEETS. And liked them. I'm even excited about the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!)

So how did we do it? How did we turn those little purple knobs into a creamy and delectable treat?

1/2 stick butter, 2 peeled-and-diced beets, and some chopped onion: (isn't the color pretty?)

Simmer. Add 1 cup arborio rice (I like to let it sit for a few minutes before I add the liquid) ... it absorbs it better for some reason:

Add 3 cups chicken broth and a generous splash of balsamic vinegar:

Boil. Reduce heat. Stir occasionally until creamy:

Add crumbled goat cheese and serve!

It was so good. The beets provided a nice sweetness to balance the sharp balsamic and goat cheese. I will definitely make it again!

The finished meal: CSA pork chops, CSA snap peas, and CSA beets in a beet and goat cheese risotto ... yummmmmy!

*Note: the not-as-great quality of tonight's photos brought to you by Price's much-inferior camera. Someone (ahem!) used my camera and didn't recharge the battery when he was done. Oh well ... I still love him! (A lot!)