Now that our markets are off to a great start, its time to get down to the business of what you can do with all of the great ingredients you pick up at market. Today - Chioggia beets, named after the region of Italy where they originated.
Chioggia beets are a brighter red than the standard red beet, but the difference doesn't stop there. Things get really interesting when you slice into a Chioggia beet:
No genetic experiment here - this is the real deal. The red and white striped orbs taste just like your standard beet. Now, if you cook the Chioggia beet, sorry, but you lose the stripes. What to do - - - don't cook it! Raw beets are delicious and add a great texture to salads. A quick julienne of the colorful beets,
topping off a simple bowl of crisp pea shoots, and dressing with a lovely lemon vinaigrette and you have a perfect salad for dinner.
What's in a market pasta meal - pretty much anything I pick up at market can end up in these concoctions. A quick sauté of a handful of spring onions and asparagus - don't over cook, keep the asparagus nice and crisp. Toss in the beet greens (yes - always use the beet greens - delicious and packed with nutrients!) to wilt, and throw in a handful of parsley. Toss the cooked pasta and veggies together with a drizzle of lemon vinaigrette, top with a poached farm fresh egg, and a few shavings of parmesan. That's a market pasta meal!