The beet, sometimes called beetroot to distinguish it from the less-commonly-eaten leafy green upper part, is a root crop with an intense purple-red color similar to veinous blood. Beet juice is commonly used for coloring or dyeing.
Beets may be pickled, but most beets are sold fresh (possibly peeled and pre-cooked) or canned. They have a uniquely strong, sweet flavor. They are a common source of refined sugar (known as "beet sugar").
Beets are usually sliced and served as a vegetable on one side of a plate. They are often used in Eastern European soups.
Young beets, about 1½ inches in diameter, are fine textured, tender, and excellent in salads. Medium and large size beets are good for cooking; very large roots are too woody for eating regardless of cooking method. Which ever size of beets you choose, look for smooth, hard, uniformly round beets that are free of cuts and bruises.
It’s best to store beets that have their tops chopped off in individual plastic bags in the coolest part of the refrigerator. These should last up to one week. The greens should be eaten as soon as possible.
Wash and scrub the beets before cooking. Beets peel best after cooking, so wear gloves if you wish to avoid stained hands.
You should cook the beet for about 50 minutes.
Seasonality[edit | edit source]
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