Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chioggia Beets

I have a great crop of these heirloom Chioggia beets this summer.  According to Seed Savers Exchange, an heirloom seed company you may visit at http://www.seedsavers.org/ to purchase seeds, Chioggia beets are a pre-1840 Italian heirloom, introduced to the U.S. before 1865. They are named for a fishing town near Venice.   I planted the seeds in my South Carolina garden on February 18, after most of the freezing weather had passed, and I began harvesting them on May 9.

Just harvested chioggia beets

Sliced Chioggia beets
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After I sliced them, my 5 year old, captivated by the candy cane-like stripes, declared that they were sweet enough to eat raw.  I did not tell her beets are not usually eaten raw, but I tasted the slice she offered me and agreed they are tasty.  We roast them with salt and olive oil in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, but I need to find some more beet recipes to use our bounty before they toughen in summer's heat. 

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