The East Liberty Farmers Market has now closed for the season, and in honor of those farmers braving the chill for one last week, we present a melange of their best root vegetables. You can still buy local beets at Whole Foods and Giant Eagle (sometimes) for the next few weeks. The citrus enhances the sweetness of the beets.
- 1 large bunch local beets, including greens
- 1 jewel yam
- 4 carrots, including greens
- 1 orange
- 2 lemons (Meyers, if available)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1/2 Tbsp coriander
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1/2 tsp chili oil (to taste)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
1. Trim the greens from the beets. Leave 1″ stem and the tails on the beets. Drop in boiling salted water along with the whole yam. Remove when tender-crisp and you can barely pierce them with a fork (~20 minutes for the beets, ~25 for the yam) and submerge in cold water. The skins should rub off easily. Be sure not to overcook or the final dish will be mushy.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Grind the garlic with the salt in a mortar and pestle until smooth. Mix with the zest, juice, and pulp from the lemons and orange (strain the seeds). Add cumin, coriander, cilantro, chili oil, and mustard. Whisk in the oil. Let sit for ~15 minutes while the yam finishes cooking.
3. Drop the beet and carrot greens in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes to remove some of the bitterness. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.
4. Put 1/3 of the citrus sauce in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When it begins to sizzle, add the carrots. Cook until tender (~5 minutes).
5. Meanwhile, cut the peeled yam and beets into 1/2″ rounds. Add to carrot mixture along with most of the remaining citrus mix. Reserve 2-3 Tbs of the mix.
6. Remove the beet mixture and sauté the greens with the remaining citrus mix (1-2 minutes).