Janelle Maiocco


Welcome to my blog. I live in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle on an Urban Farm (w/ five laying hens and a huge garden). I am a trained chef (w/ a certificate in food preservation), taught at a cooking school & like to share 'kitchen hacks' - culinary tips that save time, money & maximize flavor. If that isn't enough, I also run a food+tech startup called Barn2Door.com - a platform to help everyone easily find & buy food directly from farmers, fishers & ranchers (from CSA's to urban farm eggs to 1/2 a grass-fed cow).

what's the answer? it beets me.

what's the answer? it beets me.

yellow beets www.talkoftomatoes.com
yellow beets www.talkoftomatoes.com

Last summer was my first real fling with beets.

beets www.talkoftomatoes.com
beets www.talkoftomatoes.com

I am enthralled with these color-bleeding, edible and bursting-with-flavor globes. Beets tuck right into that whole ugly swan story, appearing ugly, or at least starting out ugly but later transformed into something breath-taking. Beets are that way: ugly ducklings waiting to be transformed into swan-form. Who would think these scary rooted, a bit hairy, little studded dirt balls could turn into charmers that steal your meal-time show?

I am still getting to know beets.

Beet Info (borrowed happily from world's healthiest foods):

  • The pigment that gives beets their rich, purple-crimson color is a powerful cancer-fighting agent.
  • Beets are particularly rich in the B vitamin folate, which is essential for normal tissue growth. Eating folate-rich foods is especially important during pregnancy.
  • Both beets and Swiss chard are different varieties within the same plant family
  • Beets' value grew in the 19th century when it was discovered that they were a concentrated source of sugar, and the first sugar factory was built in Poland.
  • Store beets unwashed in the refrigerator crisper where they will keep for two to four weeks.
    • (Cut the majority of the greens and their stems from the roots, so they do not pull away moisture away from the root. Leave about two inches of the stem attached to prevent the roots from "bleeding." Store the unwashed greens in a separate plastic bag where they will keep fresh for about four days).
    • Raw beets do not freeze well since they tend to become soft upon thawing. Freezing cooked beets is fine; they'll retain their flavor and texture.
    • A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
      • Simply grate raw beets for a delicious and colorful addition to salads or decorative garnish for soups.
      • Add chunks of beet when roasting vegetables in the oven.
      • Serving homemade vegetable juice? A quarter of a beet will turn any green drink into a sweet pink concoction, pleasing both the eyes and the taste buds.
      • Healthy sauté beet greens with other braising greens such as chard and mustard greens.
      • Marinate steamed beets in fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh herbs.

Last night, I made beets via my kitchen sink method (aka start pulling out ingredients, preparing them and then seeing how they fit together at the meal---a sometimes disastrous, yet sometimes brilliant maneuver). I decided to roast the beets, since I had a pile of them from my CSA box. And they grabbed worthy attention.

I took about 6 small beets, peeled them and quartered them (think 1/2 inch cubes). I blended 1 T olive oil, 1 T maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp coarse salt vigorously; then added oil mix to beets to lightly cover. I roasted them for 25 minutes at 400. Then, via the kitchen sink method instead of just eating them plain, we ended up putting them on top of our crisp green salad---with blue cheese dressing. It worked. Next time, I will PLAN to make the beets for the salad; with the air that I meant to do it all along.

More beet recipes? It beets me---but visit these kitchens:

would you like the good news or the bad news?

good soup. of the pumpkin ginger variety.

good soup. of the pumpkin ginger variety.