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Farmer Lee Jones and Chef Jamie Simpson of The Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef's Garden spice up beets with curry. The super-tasty dressing is a lovely contrast to the sweetness of the beet, while the toasted pistachios add texture and crunch.
Lee, Rach's "favorite veg head in a bib and a bow tie," also has lots of tips on how to select and handle beets:
—Look for firm, round beets with a slender tap root (the large main root), a rich color and a smooth surface.
—Beets are exceptionally dirty, so you want to give them a good scrub with a vegetable brush. In general, you'll want to peel them, which you can do before or after cooking.
—To store them, first remove the leaves and store those separately (you can saute them or use them in soups or other ways). For short-term storage, wrap the uncleaned beets in a plastic bag to retain humidity and refrigerate in your crisper drawer. For long-term, line a sealable container with a damp double layer of paper towels or cotton cloth, arrange the uncleaned beets inside in a single layer and refrigerate. You should occasionally change the damp paper towels or cloth.
—You can eat beets raw if you grate them or thinly slice them. To cook them, steam or poach them whole. I also like to wrap them in foil and roast them; rub off their skin and cut and use as desired.
For another flavor-packed vegetable dish from Lee and Jamie, check out their Roasted Carrots with Yogurt, Honey and Tahini Dressing.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl, dress the pistachios with the 1 teaspoon oil in a small bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet, season with salt and roast, tossing once, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, place the beets in a pot, cover with water and poach over a low simmer until a knife inserted in the center meets no resistance.
While the beets cook, in a small saucepan, bring the curry powder and remaining ½ cup olive oil to a low simmer over medium heat, swirling occasionally. Remove from heat, add the garlic and let cool.
When the beets are tender, remove from the water and peel with a towel by sliding off the skin, then slice and place in a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard. Whisking constantly, stream in cooled curry oil and continue whisking until the dressing is very smooth and thick. Season with a pinch of salt.
Toss the beets with half of the dressing, then season with lemon juice. Serve topped with the toasted pistachios and micro herbs and/or greens (if using) with additional dressing on the side.