Lazy Man's Beets
The beet is a humble little thing. They’re often in a forgotten pile in the produce section, caked in grit, roots frayed; a mound of rocks waiting to be carted off. It’s not immediately evident what the hell you do with them. How could you possibly render them tender, these robust little creatures?
I came late to beets, relatively speaking. As child my exposure was exclusively beets from a can. As with most vegetables from a can (asparagus perhaps the worst offender) they were limp, overcooked, and barely keeping it together, flavor wise. My grandmother, who was a fine cook in the Southern tradition, didn’t even cook her own beets. Always from a can.
When I was 19 and in college I was working at what was the nicest restaurant in Lexington, KY, bussing tables and running food from the kitchen in the basement to the tables one floor above. It was called Dudley’s. I remember the day I was in the kitchen and a line cook was preparing for dinner service, peeling his freshly roasted beets.
“I hate beets,” I volunteered.
That stance was unacceptable to the cook, and he thrust a beet chunk in my direction, speared on the end of his knife, for the taking.
I’ve loved beets ever since.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to A Small and Simple Thing to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.