Thursday, March 26, 2009

Obama's Ban on Beets

Beets are becoming the "new broccoli" of the Obama era. I found all the talk around the President's dislike of beets so amusing, I had to dish a little and add my two cents. Apparently President Obama steers clear of beets at all costs, so much so that he's banned them from the new White House vegetable garden, which Michelle Obama broke ground on last week. First off, I think it's awesome they've decided to make fresh, local, homegrown food a focus and secondly, if he doesn't like beets, who honestly cares!? They're planning to plant 55 varieties of vegetables, lettuces, broccoli, fennel, shell peas and kale among them. Ok, so beets get the boot this time, big deal. Personally, I find beets delicious and they're a great source of antioxidants and fiber, but we can't be expected to like everything. I myself, can't stand lima beans, good for you as they may be. I'm supporting Obama and his stance. At least he eats his vegetables period. I think we should be chattering more about the goodness of the vegetable garden as a whole and leave him and his beet ban alone.

Check out the recipe below for the beet and blood orange salad I whipped up a few weeks back in Paris.

One last quick tidbit, I just stumbled on this super cool website, "Behind the Chef", that serves up culinary secrets and thought it was worth mentioning. The site showcases chefs from some of your fave restaurants in the city along with their recipes and tips and tactics in the kitchen. Check out the recipe for risotto with winter truffles from Chef Joey Campanaro of the Little Owl and Market Table (two of my favorite places in NYC) or read an interview with Jose Andres who's known for his avant-garde Spanish food.

Beet and Blood Orange Salad with Chive-Shallot Vinaigrette
2 large cooked beets, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 blood oranges, peeled and segmented (cut skin off around orange and use a paring knife to cut out individual segments between the white pith)
1-2 tsp chives, finely chopped
1/2 tsp shallot, minced
juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and fresh black pepper to taste
*I didn't have Dijon mustard on hand in Paris, but I'd probably add about 1 tsp of it to the vinaigrette. I might also toss in a bit of fresh goat cheese or toasted hazelnuts, about 1 Tbsp or so.
Mix chives through salt and pepper in a small bowl until vinaigrette is well blended. Place beets and oranges in a serving bowl and drizzle vinaigrette over. Toss and serve. (check out the beet salad in the middle-left of the photo)

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