People LOVE to tell me what to do with my vegetables.
At the end of every season, when I’ve opened my Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) box and found yet another bunch of fill-in-the-blank-I’m-sick-of-this-vegetable, I turn to Facebook with a plaintive post, like this one:
Invariably, my friends come through with a slew of really tasty suggestions.
So Many Beets
I like beets. At the beginning of their season (which, in Texas, starts in December and lasts through August), I LOVE beets. They immediate come out of my big CSA box, get washed and trimmed (greens saved for later), wrapped in foil, and roasted in a 425 degree F oven for about 45 to 60 minutes, cooled, and popped into a gallon-sized plastic bag. They’re peeled as needed, and I eat them on just about everything…until weeks later, when I’m sick of beets.
After about six weeks, I was feeling a little puny on beets. So I posted and my friends came to the rescue. Truly, I got LOTS more comments on my beet abundance than, say, important life events. One comment in particular stood out.
I met Megan at a fancy pop-up dinner (we bonded as the lone journalists in a sea of society somebodies) and she has an awesome food blog, Stetted. Beet cake? Really? I immediately thought of this classic A Christmas Story scene:
(Yes, I know Randy says “beet loaf,” but still….)
It intrigued me; could beet cake possibly be good? The recommendation was solid, from a bona fide and trusted food source. I scanned the ingredients: beets, unsalted butter, olive oil, maple syrup, honey, eggs, pure vanilla extract, flour*, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Holy crap — I had everything on hand. And my mom’s ancient Bundt pan languished in the cupboard.
Reader, I baked it.
Not only was that beet cake pretty but it was yummy, yummy good. At a family party, everyone — even the beet averse — raved about how good it was and only one person guessed its secret ingredient. And because the recipe calls for unprocessed items, I can tell myself it’s a better-for-me dessert option.
After the cake interlude, the number of beets in my CSA box dwindled. I resumed my traditional roasting. But it’s March now, and there’s really no end in sight for beets.
I think I feel a Dark Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake coming on.
*the original recipe calls for a mix of unbleached white flour and whole wheat flour, but I’m gluten free, so I substituted King Arthur Flour Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Mix.