I must admit, I rang in 2010 tucked away in the outer boroughs of New York City with R and a large tub of fresh artichokes, which he taught me how to cook based on his grandfather’s old recipe.
R adores artichokes. He lights up every time he talks about them. When he was a kid, he wouldn’t let anyone talk to him if he was eating one of the artichoke dishes his large Italian family would put in front of his face. Given how full of life he is, I think they started to use it as a strategy.
You can see why I was surprised when R claimed I have an equally passionate relationship with beets.
“Your beet is my artichoke, Obry,” he said, going so far as to claim I have a fetish for them. It’s hard to describe just what it is about them. Beets make me sigh. Of all the stuff in the produce section, they’re the most fun to bring home. They’re so awkward, with their and crazy tall greens and peculiar long tails so animated it looks like they could scamper away.
I roast beets at least once a week and eat them with any combination of greens, grains, and cheese — or just straight on their own. I rarely buy bare beets, as the greens are delicious to eat with nothing but sea salt, shaved raw garlic, and a swing of olive oil.
And what else can you do with that beet meat? I had a loaf of Rustica’s whole grain bread and homemade hummus in the fridge, which led to this lovely combination — a roasted beet and hummus sandwich.
R, just so you know, the beet lover in me honors the artichoke lover in you. 😉