It’s been pretty quiet around here lately. My days have been slow, revealing insides that are messy and some days, a slowness that can only lead to more slowness and a soft, contemplative air.
I think beets are the perfect example of how I am experiencing the world right now. Beets are messy, ugly, and kinda hairy. One of the more impenetrable root vegetables I’ve found, especially because of their petite size, the way they bleed, how difficult they are to chop. And, oh, heavens, how close you’ve come to cutting off a finger trying to get them prepped for cooking.
Beets are the vegetables that you see at the store or show up in your fridge (thanks to a farmer) that make you stop and say to yourself, “Am I ready for this?” or “Do I have the time?” as well as, sometimes, in a brave moment, “It’ll be worth it.”
There’s nothing like discovering how a “difficult” food like beets is such a great reminder of how hiding under most surfaces, and hard work, is a sweet, sweet center. A reminder of how we should challenge ourselves to go deeper, dedicate more time, and never be too quick to judge or be discouraged, since at the heart-center is something that should be revealed, and shared.
Sometimes we are the beets, hiding in a protective scaly skin, hiding underground. Sometimes this is the safest way or the only way. And, sometimes someone else in our life is the beet. We want them to feel safe, we’ll keep them in our crisper longer than the others, and they do just fine. What they need is our dedication. But, we also should accept the challenge of confronting our friend, the beet, in building a space that is safe and slow, and allow them to open up when they are ready.
Wait, am I talking about a vegetable or a friend? Oh, both!
Maybe you’re a fan of beets, or maybe they are the vegetable you’ve tried your whole life to avoid. To the former, yes, yes, let’s celebrate together the versatility of this vegetable. To the latter, maybe I can change your mind. Sweet roasted beets are the candy of the vegetable world. Our friends that hide in the dark ground, the food that can be rather versatile and sustaining.
Sweet Roasted Beets
Bunch of beets, peeled and sliced into coins
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons honey/agave/whatever sweetener you love to love
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix the ingredients in a big bowl until the beets are covered in the sweet, sticky mixture. The amounts are approximations. Experiment, mix it up, dip your finger in the sauce, and see what tastes good.
Bake about 40 minutes or until soft, until a fork can be stuck in smoothly, and the color changes, turning a deeper hue.
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