I came across gigantic beets on a recent Farmers Market run.
Upon inquiring with the vendor (Tierra Vegetable stall at the San Francisco Ferry Building Market), I found out they were called Lutz beets, a variety I had not seen before. In addition to having luscious greens, Lutz beets are excellent storage beets (up to 8 months), earning them the title of winterkeepers. But it was truly their sheer size that caught my attention. One could easily feed for day, so I just took one home.
I could think of a few ways of using it, so I started by roasting it in parchment paper, at about 400F until tender (about 1hr given its size). Cutting it into two halves when it was fully cooked revealed its heartshaped and veined velvet red inside. My heart truly melted at the beautiful sight.
I had a few young garlic greens, fresh walnuts from the Market also. So a first quarter of this beet went into a batch of chickpea hummus: in the food processor, I blended the 1/4 beet, the green parts of two garlic greens finely sliced, 1 can of chickpeas, about 1/4-1/3 cup fresh walnuts (deshelled), 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. After a few minutes, the hummus was smooth enough and had taken on a stunning pink color. I transferred it to a bowl, drizzled it with some extra virgin olive oil, and finely chopped garlic greens.
This hummus was not only easy and really quick to make, it was utterly addictive! I almost wanted to just keep making it until the whole beet was used, but I refrained as I wanted to try making at least one more dish. So, more to come on that beet. :)
By the way:
- You could replace the 1/4 large Lutz beet with two small beets also roasted.
- I used olive oil but walnut oil would have worked well here too. You can also use more oil (or less) as desired.
- This hummus is gluten and dairy-free, and will keep all eaters very happy. :)