Delicious and beautiful – Chioggia beets
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!