Beets are a root vegetable with dark leafy greens, and a dark red root. The whole plant is edible, and you’ll find the greens in the CSA share at the beginning of the season and the dark red roots throughout our season. The leaves and roots pair well together, or the leaves can be separated from the root and eaten right away. The leaves are very similar tasting to chard. The root will store much longer than the leaves. Beets have a sweet, yet earthy flavor and a wide variety of culinary uses. Fresh beets are nothing like the canned variety! Try them raw, cooked, and even pickled.
Separate leaves from the root by cutting leaves one inch above the root. Keep unwashed greens refrigerated in a plastic bag for 2-3 days. Store the beet roots with about 1 inch of stem attached, unwashed in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator. Beet roots will store for several weeks.
Wash greens several times in clean cold water. Use greens raw or sautéed, their taste is similar to Swiss chard. Remove tops, and scrub beets. Peel with a vegetable peeler, then grate or chop according to your recipe. Try using raw beets in salad and refrigerator pickles. Once chopped beets can be roasted, added to risottos, soups like borscht, added to pasta, and cooked and pureed for baked goods.