Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Boy, Was My Face (Beet) Red

I have written here before that the one food on the face of the earth that triggers my gag reflex is a beet.


Credit a gaggle of Grandmothers, Great Grandmothers,  and Great Aunts declaring "it all goes to the same place," simultaneously plunking dessert down into the middle of the plate that I was frantically trying to squeegee turkey, green bean, and beet juice off to the side.

To no avail. Cake with beet juice. Shiverrrr...

Oddly enough, I still feel obligated to give a beet a chance. I cook! I garden! I can make you love a vegetable! And when I announce my hatred for beets, my foody friends are often horrified: What? Toss them with butter! Serve them with goat cheese!

I took off on a 1-man Girl's Trip to Chicago in November, and while I was there, stopped at my all-time favorite restaurant for dinner: Greek Islands. On the menu, I found a marinated roasted beet salad, served with skordalia, "a smooth garlic-potato spread, blended with our own imported extra virgin olive oil."

Gratuitous shot of hot Greek waiters.

Look, if anyone can make me love a beet, it's Greek Islands. I went for it.

My one-word review: Beetgasm.

While I understand that garlic-potato spread swirled on the top of anything would make it automatically delicious, the skordalia is not a disclaimer: The beets were delicious. I dragged the leftovers home on the train, and ate every bite the next night. And by "the next night," I mean, "the minute I got home." I don't think even stopped to take my coat off. They were that good.

I then promptly looked up recipes for "beets in garlic olive oil marinade with skordalia," because I was certain that with a little practice, I too, can make a good beet with potato spread. The directions seems easy enough:
  • peel the beet
  • roast the beet
  • marinade the beet
  • put the skordalia on the beet
  • eat the beet.

However, since I'd never touched a beet, when mine didn't seem to be doing what it should, I texted my BFF (Best Foody Friend) Chris for advice:

"Hm!" I thought. "A meat thermometer in a vegetable! Who'da thunk it?" Really. Cooky as I am,  I had never heard of such a thing!

Chris knows best, however, 

I took my beet's temperature, all the while texting Chris, and thinking about how closely these temperatures resemble cooking a pork ten...um....derloin...wait...

(Please to ignore that green bubble in the middle; trash-talkin' with my BFF was not meant for the internetz.)

Picture me now, with my head on the counter, laughing my mascara down my cheeks.

In the end, of course, my beets were terrible!! At 170 degrees, they were still raw, and even the skordalia, which turned out pretty good, could not save them.

Oh, it is on, beets, you  make a fool out of me and then taste like crap?

 As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never take the temperature of a beet again. No, nor any of my folk.

I don't know nuthin 'bout birthin  no beets.

Please forgive me. I have gone off the beet end.