We had a remarkable lunch yesterday, thanks to the Farm & Kitchen staff at Chewonki. “Beet Butter” a delicious rubine-red blend of pureed beets and fresh butter, was served up with warm bread and of course, more beets!
Beets, with their intense color and taste have always lingered on the edge of controversy:
“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.
Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.
The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip…
The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.
The beet was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.”
― Tom Robbins,
These particular beets were grown on the Chewonki farm last summer, and had been waiting patiently in our root cellar for this lovely lunch.
The next time you’re trying to spice up your meal with a dash of color – think beets!