I’ve been writing a recipe column for Today’s Dietitian, and September’s edition features a somewhat controversial veggie from my childhood days – the beet.
As I wrote in my column, the discord stems primarily from parents with rather differing opinions about the beautiful, but dangerous, late summer vegetable. You see,
“Beets were my mom’s worst nightmare. The juice stained her cutting boards, tie-dyed her kids’ white T-shirts, and left her scrubbing the kitchen counters until her hands turned pink. On the other hand, beets were my dad’s favorite vegetable. They were one of his continuously best-growing crops in the family garden. He loved nothing more than staining his hands as he pulled the beets out of the ground each year, and he had an affinity for their taste that my mom couldn’t match. And unfortunately, my mom had cleaning skills that my dad couldn’t match, so every summer there was a comical bone of contention that surrounded beets.”
This had always left me unsettled about my own opinions for beets. I’ve always enjoyed, but not longed, for their flavor, and I’ve always sort of shied away from the mess they tend to create.
However, in recent years, I’ve developed a newfound love.
After one small one went into this recipe for tabbouleh, I was sold. That color! It’s flavor in the dish was not super memorable, but the hue it lent to the entire bowl certainly was. From then on, I would find ways to employ the beet’s beautiful color, and do so in a way that wouldn’t destroy my counters. And white t-shirts, because unfortunately, mom isn’t buying those anymore.
This recipe for Smoky Black Bean Burgers utilizes the food processor to keep the mess at a bay, while enabling beets to add color to a veggie burger that’s hard to forget. Here, the veggie adds adds a hint of sweetness that goes perfectly with the smoky paprika, as well as the parsley herb sauce that tops it all off. (Note, feel free to use any summer herb that sounds good to you. I vote for basil as an alt.)
Head on over to the digital edition of the mag for the recipe!