In Season Now

Published on June 14th, 2010 | by Rachel Shulman

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In Season Now: Beets and Carrots

Although you might normally think of root vegetables as fall crops, many varieties are  also available in the late spring. Beets and carrots, for instance, grow well in the cooler temperatures of spring.

These cool-weather crops are typically planted in the early spring for a late spring/early summer harvest and again in the late summer for a fall harvest. They do poorly in mid-summer heat. So, unless you want to wait until fall, now is the time to look for beets and carrots at your local farmers market!

Beets are nutritional powerhouses, with high levels of folate, manganese, and potassium. Carrots are chock-full of carotenoids, a group of compounds that are essential for the body’s maintenance of skin, teeth, and the immune system. Put the two together in a raw salad and you’ll have one nutritious (and delicious) meal.

Here’s one of my favorite beet and carrot recipes, a Raw Vegan Beet Salad with Carrot and Ginger. It’s sweet, earthy, and delightfully crunchy.

This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman‘s How to Cook Everything.

  • 1/2 pound small beets without their greens (which, by the way, you should not throw away or have chopped off at the farmers market – beet greens are delicious!)
  • 1/2 pound carrots
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

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1. Grate the beets and the carrots by hand or use a food processor fitted with a grating disk. Combine the grated beets and carrots with the shallots and ginger in a bowl.

2. Sprinkle the salad with salt and pepper. Whisk together the mustard, oil, and lime juice in a small bowl and add to the salad. Toss the salad to coat with the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Toss in the cilantro and serve.

Serves 4.

Image courtesy of heathervescent via a Creative Commons license.

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About the Author

I'm an ecologist turned journalist turned farmer-in-training. I'm currently working on an organic farm and creamery in Illinois. Follow me on twitter (http://twitter.com/rachelshulman), friend me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=3105709), or follow me on StumbleUpon (http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/RachelShulman/).



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