I have come to the last of the root vegetables in my garden. The Red Beets and the Rutabaga finally had to be pulled to give room for the spring plantings. Both of these roots were grown in fertile and well-drained soil amended with well rotted compost from my pile.
The Red Beets have done well enough to pickle. Some say that the tender leaves may be used in salads. When cooking the beets, it is recommended that a large chunk of greens be left and the root remain uncut to prevent the bleeding of the strong red color. See recipe below for pickling.
Trying something new this winter, I sowed rutabaga to see how well they would do. I'm surprised because it did very well. The rutabaga may be used in the same manner as turnips but they have a much milder and sweeter, somewhat nutty, taste. Cut up thinly,they may be eaten raw. I peel my rutabaga, chop them up, cook them, and make a mash with nothing else added. Other times, I use them in soups and stews.
Recipe for pickling red beets: To cover 2 cups of cooked, skin removed, and sliced beets, combine 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup water,1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp salt (optional), and a trace of black pepper. Heat. Chill. Cover the beets and let stand for 2 days. Don't store this too long in the fridge. Eat and enjoy.
The same type of brine will do for sliced cucumbers, too.
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