20 December 2008

Red beets (beetroot) etc.

On Betty C.'s blog called Cuisine Quotidienne (Everyday French Cuisine), she posted a topic on beets (Am. Eng.) or beetroot (Br. Eng.) — betteraves in French. Betteraves are a controversial vegetable; some people detest them. Others, including me, love them. They taste like dirt — or should I say "the earth"? — like some good wines, and that's one of the things I like about them.

On Betty's blog, I left a comment about the way beets are sold at our local Intermarché supermarket. Over there, there is always a crate of them, of some sort. They are cooked. I sneaked a photo at Intermarché this morning to show how they were displayed. Today, instead of a meat fork, there was a set of tongs provided for customers to pick them out of the crate and drop them into a plastic bag.

Cooked beets at Intermarché in Noyers-sur-Cher.
Grab one with the tongs and drop it into a plastic bag.

Betteraves are normally sold cooked in France, though there is a farmer who sells raw beets at the market on Saturdays in Saint-Aignan. In California, I had to buy them raw at the supermarket and cook them myself. They take a long time to cook — 45 minutes or an hour or more — whether in boiling water or wrapped in foil in the oven, so the fact is I prefer to buy them already cooked.

I like cooked beets cut into cubes and made into a salad seasoned with a vinaigrette dressing and some minced shallots. Vinaigrette is a mixture of a little Dijon mustard and vinegar whisked together with about three times as much oil. Add a minced shallot, maybe some chopped parsley, some salt and pepper, and there — Bob's your uncle. Toss the cubed beets in it.

Betty gives a lot of other ideas for beet salads on her blog, and there are still others in the comments. They all sound good.

Sunset at La Renaudière, 19 December 2008

Here's a gratuitous snapshot of last night's sunset. We actually had a sunny day in Saint-Aignan. And warm — over 50ºF — that's over 10ºC.

5 comments:

  1. I love beets, too. Since I've come to France, I've eaten so many that I'm turning red. Betty C.'s site is lovely with great ideas. Now I'm hungry for betteraves.

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  2. i'm with barack....don't like em...maybe i've just never had them prepared correctly

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  3. I didn't realize that YOUR "Betty C." was the "Cuisine Quotidienne" blogger :)) Hi there, Betty C.! My sister (whose name is Elizabeth) goes by Betsy with us, but Betty with her husband, and her last name starts with C., so every time I see a post by "Betty C." I think of my sister (who I think occasionally reads your blog, Ken).

    I, too, am a beet convert after eating them in France in a nice salad. It's so much more convenient to buy them already freshly-cooked... here, you only get them pickled on the salad bar, or raw. I tried cooking them once in the pressure cooker after I came back from France, but it was too messy.

    Judy

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  4. Oh my I just found your blog(thru Lucy's Kitchen). My heart skippped a beat to find a blogger who lives in the Loire valley. My favorite part of France. I love beets and don't mind cooking them whether boiling or roasting. I put them in as soon as I get home from the grocer. My husband detests them but I salt,pepper and a liitle vinegar and keep them in the fridge in a sealed jar. I spoon a few on my salad with some crumbled blue cheese and vinegrette yum yum.

    Now I have to make more time to read another blog as I am adding yours to my favorites!! Joyeaux Noel ma nouvelle ami.

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