Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Beets and swiss chard

Its late February and the days are just beginning to lengthen. Rain brings clouds to try and shorted the day. Most mornings are sunny till about noon, then the clouds roll in and lock out the day. At the farmers market there are lots of winter greens. I use the solar sport oven in its winter upright position with a 6” wide oval roaster and 5” small pot.

One bunch swiss chard and one bunch beets with leaves. Raymond, from Calderon Farms, a organic table from Hollister, about 70 miles to the south, sells them for $2 each.

Rinse well. If you let them soak in cold water the gritty soil will come off. Scoop the water from the sink and use it on the plants.

Trim the stalks then cut the bigger ones off the leaf. Chop the leaves into half inch strips. Chop the stalks fine.

Peel the beets carefully with a potato peeler. Then cut into 1/4 inch strips.

Mix leaves stalks and beets in a roaster. Salt and mix. Place in the oven in the winter position with the reflector for one hour. Check to see if the top is steaming. If not go another fifteen minutes. If you use a thermometer make sure the oven gets over 230 for one hour. Use your kitchen timer because the reflector can warp the oven if left unattended.

The leaves will have wilted.

In a bowl mix two tablespoons olive oil, two tablespoons white wine vinegar, one crushed clove garlic optional, two teaspoons cumin plus two tablespoons hot New Mexico chili powder optional, one cup chopped cilantro or parsley optional. Add to roaster, mix, taste for salt and serve. Big Paw brings olive oil and vinegar from the north bay as far away as Calistoga about 100 miles from Belmont.

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