Delicious and beautiful – Chioggia beets

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Beets really only made their way into my regular diet last summer when we started getting them through our our farm CSA. As well versed in the food world as I thought I was, our CSA last summer introduced me to a number of new varieties of vegetables! I am now hooked on beets. We have them at least once every other week, if not every week while they are in season.

I’ve tried 3 types so far, the regular red beets, the golden beets and then what I think is the best by far for taste and beauty are the chioggia beets.

When you cut into them they reveal amazing alternating white and deep pink rings. I can’t help but think about how beautiful they are every time I cut into one. But they aren’t my favorite just because of their looks. I also love the way they taste, they are sweet yet perhaps a bit more mild than the other varieties I’ve had so far. I really enjoy their mellow taste. 

After a little internet searching I discovered that they are an Italian heirloom beet. Named after the Italian coastal town Chioggia, located on an island near Venice. 

As I mentioned they (and the other varieties) are super easy to cook. Here is a recipe we use all the time for grilled beets. You can also chop them into smallish chunks, toss with a little olive oil and a big pinch of salt (they like salt) and pop them in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes or really until they are the texture you want them to be. Given them a turn once midway through.

If you haven’t tried them before I hope this encourages you to the next time you see them at the store or your farmer’s market!

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