When I picked up the CSA share last week I found myself facing a replay of the previous two weeks:
-1 head lettuce
-1 bunch beets
-1.5 pounds summer squash/zucchini
-1.5 pounds cucumbers
-1 bunch chard
-1 bunch sage
Sadly I had fallen a bit behind and still had beets from two weeks before languishing in the produce drawer, along with zucchini from one week before (we hadn’t eaten at home much). Eek! Time to do some processing.
I was on the phone with my mom and we looked up ways of cooking the beets without using the oven, because it was wickedly hot and humid out. She found instructions for microwaving them, and I decided to go against every instinct I possess and give it a shot. All I did was scrub the beets and cut off the greens about an inch up from the root, then put them in a pyrex baking pan (I have a smallish square one) and covered it tightly with saran wrap. I cooked them for ten minutes, then pulled out the little beets that felt tender and gave the big ones another ten. I then allowed them to cool far too much before I put on gloves and peeled them, which meant I was sweating profusely while clutching my cellphone to my ear with my shoulder and desperately trying to finagle the skins off (note: peel beets as soon as you can handle them without burning yourself; don’t let them cool). To top off this vision of grace and loveliness, I was wearing my ratty around-the-house clothes with a pair of 3.5 inch silver wedges that I’m breaking in for a wedding this weekend. Thank god I was home alone… Anyway, the beets looked like hell but tasted just fine.
I’d have to do a side-by-side test to see if the flavor is more concentrated in the oven, but honestly these tasted great dressed in a vinaigrette as a side dish.
After I had recovered from the traumatic beet peeling endeavor, I hauled out my mandoline (slicer, not instrument), and cut up about half of the zucchini and summer squash into 1/4 inch ribbons, which I tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper:
Ben grilled steak and the zucchini and we ate outside, desperate for a breeze:
Still to come: Dull zucchini spaghetti and my mandoline rage