"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Honey beets by Nadine

by Julie Tilsner on March 13, 2010

in Good Ideas Gone Bad

Beats File under: When at first you don't succeed, yadda yadda yadda…

Beets. I love 'em. They're cluttering up the farmer's market right now, which means I can have beets any time I want and make buckets of my rosemary red beet soup with Alien heads, if anybody besides myself were around to eat it, I mean. Kelli? Joey? Who wants seconds?

But while I've managed to teach myself how to make that soup with polite consistency, I've had no idea how to make the kind of beets I love most – those tangy, snappy ones people eat in salads or by themselves.

My next door neighbor Nadine had us over the other week and sat us down in front of her table of Mediterranean delights, including a glistening bowl of beets. Yes, those tangy ones, and these had honey overtones. OMG. Between the two of us, my daughter and I pretty much finished off the bowl.

I warned the girl not to panic next trip to the bathroom ("It's not bowel cancer, it's the pound of beets you just ate."), then I called Nadine to inquire as to her recipe.

"I dunno, Jules," Nadine said in her lilting South African accent.
"I don't really measure anything. It's just what feels right, you
know?" Her questions go up and to the side.

"I actually don't know. It's a little problem of mine."

"OK, OK." She related the following. Pay attention. Although this is probably a giant duh for you.

Three beets, peeled and chopped
steam them for however long you need to steam them to make them al dente. (terminology?)

about 1/3 cup of olive oil

about 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar<

tablespoon or two of honey.

Remove beets from steamer and coat in the above mixture. Nadine says the longer you marinate them in this, the better they'll taste.

Don't oversteam the beats. I did, and they were more soggy than I would have liked them. Otherwise, yum.

This is the sort of thing that doesn't even qualify as cooking, I know. And most anyone can do this right the first time, I KNOW. Cut me some slack here. Remember who you're dealing with.

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