2nd Harvest Week <> May 7 - 13, 2001

Beets again?? Just say yes! Not only are the greens wonderful, but I am constantly learning new delightful things to make with ‘em. Promptly cut beets from their tops and store separately (leave about 1" of stem attached to beets; do not wash until you’re ready to use them). The greens are another story: wash them, shake or spin off excess water, and store wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag (squeeze the air out). You can cook with beet greens just as you do with many other greens... steam, sauté, add to soups or (the smaller tender leaves) to salads. Okay, here’s an amazing recipe I tried last week. Don’t be put off by the title -- it really is fabulous!  - debbie

Chocolate Beet Cake
(courtesy of fellow CSA member Valerie Neer of Ben Lomond, with a few modifications by yours truly)

1 1/4 C beet puree (see below)
3 eggs
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C cocoa powder
1 1/2 C sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

The beet puree can be made ahead of time. Basically, cook them any way you like... boil, bake, whatever, then puree them. A 'done' beet can be easily pierced with a fork or knife tip. The fastest way to cook beets, however, is in a pressure cooker. Scrub but do not peel them, and cook over an inch or two of water (at least 2 C of water for large beets), at high pressure for 11-13 min for small (3-4 oz) beets, or 20 - 22 min for med to large beets (5-6 oz)*. After they’re cooked and cool enough to handle, cut off stems and root and slip off skins. Cut cooked beets into chunks and puree in a blender or food processor. If your puree is too 'dry', you can probably add a tiny bit of water or beet cooking water, but only enough to make it whirl. It should be pretty thick. When I made my puree, I was short quantity-wise, and so I simply added some homemade apple butter to make up the difference (don’t be afraid to be creative, I say!). Also, if you are the type of person who likes substituting some whole-wheat flour into recipes that call for regular flour, add a touch more baking soda to compensate (for example, I used 1C white and 1/2C whole wheat flour, & added 1/8 tsp. baking soda to amount shown). Okay, here's the rest of the recipe instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease and dust with flour a bundt pan (or 8-9" square pan). In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in sugar, oil, vanilla, salt & beet puree. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa and soda. Add to wet ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 45 - 50 min., or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool and serve (with sliced strawberries & ice cream -- mmmmm!!).

*this information courtesy of a wonderful cookbook called "Cooking Under Pressure" by Lorna J. Sass

return to "Debbie's Kitchen" home page | go to Recipes by key ingredient | go to Live Earth Farm home page | send Debbie some email