The Accidental Locavore’s Most Hated Vegetable. Is It Yours?

by Anne Maxfield on June 20, 2011


Accidental Locavore Crushed BeetsThe Accidental Locavore is not a fan of beets. Let me be honest here…the Accidental Locavore despises beets! I will not eat them cooked, I will not eat them raw, I will not eat them borshted, I will not eat them pickled, I will not eat them red, I will not eat them golden (and I will hate you for trying to make them look like good vegetables!). I do not like the color, I do not like the smell.

Somewhere in my childhood, something traumatic must have happened with beets, since it’s not only me. If you ask my brother (independent of me) about beets, he’ll give you the same response, as will my dad. Might as well eat dirt.

So Mom, what did you do to us that we all loathe beets? The Accidental Locavore’s mother takes no responsibility for this family-wide disgust with the small round red root vegetables. Instead, when quizzed, she tried to deflect it to her two sisters. Now I can count the number of meals I’ve had cooked by the two of them on the fingers of one hand (probably with fingers to spare, but I won’t exaggerate), so I really doubt they have anything to do with it. Sorry Mom.

Accidental Locavore Beets for RoastingThe ironic side of this tale is that the Accidental Locavore is married to a man who loves beets (as much as I loathe them). When they come up in my farm box what do I do? Trying not to inhale, I cut the tops off leaving about an inch of green (supposedly this keeps them from “bleeding” too much), wash them and wrap each beet in aluminum foil (drizzle a little olive oil on if you’d like).Toss them on a cookie sheet in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes (depending on size) until they are tender. When they’ve cooled off enough to touch, the skins should slip right off. Then it’s up to the person who likes them to chill and slice up in a salad with goat cheese, or while still warm “pickle” them by quartering them and tossing with some red wine vinegar and chopped red onion. Chill or cool to room temperature. Serve and enjoy.

Accidental Locavore Farm Box Week 3As it turns out, this week’s farm basket contained two bunches of beets. The Accidental Locavore strongly suspects that is why Farmer Paul didn’t respond to my question about writing a recipe for him for the market. Luckily, along with the beets, was a box of even nicer strawberries than last week (possibly a different variety?), more sugar snap peas which were tossed in olive oil and grilled (delicious, try them like that), purple asparagus and red leaf lettuce.

Do you have a vegetable you won’t eat under any circumstances? What is it?

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Maxfield July 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Bacon too…maybe that’s the acid test? If it doesn’t taste better with bacon or garlic, then there’s no hope for it (i.e. beets).

LeeAnn Langdon July 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I used to believe that every vegetable could be made delicious by drizzling it with olive oil and chopped garlic and roasting it over high heat (or broiling or grilling). That works great for the two veggies I used to hate most: Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. But beets still taste like dirt to me, no matter how I cook them.

Anne Maxfield June 27, 2011 at 11:28 am

What are swedes, other than disgusting?

Emily June 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

I will never ever ever ever eat asparagus! Hate the loathsome stuff – even the smell of it nauseates me. Am I clear enough! lol

Ann Harrison June 27, 2011 at 11:03 am

Turnips and swedes – disgusting things…

Rhea June 27, 2011 at 10:01 am

I do eat beets, but totally understand why you wouldn’t. They smell funny and taste like dirt.

Anne Maxfield June 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I washed the greens really well and will saute them later in the week. Two weeks ago we had turnip greens and they were wonderful! I learned from Emeril Lagasse to braise whole radishes and toss the greens in about 5 minutes before the radishes are tender. They were delicious, but you have to clean the greens really well. As soon as they show up in my farm box, I’ll share the recipe.

Holly June 22, 2011 at 11:39 am

What did you do with the greens? They are delicious and can be substituted for most other type greens (collards, mustard, spinach etc.) in most recipes. When picking beets, pick the ones with the most fresh looking leaves. Often at the green market other people request the tops be taking off and disposed of…………I have been known to take some of these also.

I do the same with small white turnips, but it doesn’t work with radish greens!

dusty June 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I love beets — all ways, and I’m blown away by “borshted!” My most hated veg is raw onion, but I worship onion blossoms — even thinking of buying a special cutter.

Richard June 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Beets, can’t stand ’em. Once every five or ten years I try a beet, just to see if my taste buds have changed. They taste like dirt. Bad dirt. I may never try that experiment again – it has netted the same result for 50 years.

A lot of veggies I just find dull: carrots, lettuce. Some I adore: brussel sprouts, squash, eggplant. Only one I actively hate is beet.

B Terrell June 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I don’t love beets but don’t hate them either. I hate okra……won’t touch it and Anne, I really . really despise lima beans !!!!! Much like you describe your relationship with beets, that’s how I feel about lima beans. My own children have never eaten them .
Love your site !!!

Scott June 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I love beets, too. And especially roasted beets. I can’t think of a vegetable I didn’t like. This column made my mouth water…

Mdivani June 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I personally LOVE Beets!! The only vegetable that I used to in no circumstance eat was Okra. But then I went to an Indian Restaurant in Bangkok and they made “French Fries” out of Okra and they were delish, minus the slimy center part that I object to!

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