Farmer Lee Jones loves to celebrate the underappreciated beet—and he offers up the following poetic comment:
Although quite gnarly,
the overgrown beet,
grown just right,
they’re a culinary treat.
At this point, Farmer Lee suggests that we switch the artistic spotlight to where it belongs: to three of our cherished chefs and how they use the beautiful variety of beets that are regeneratively farmed at The Chef’s Garden—ones grown just right.
Beets from The Chef Garden, Chef de Cuisine Isai Coco says, “are a dream come true.” He prepares outstanding dishes and menus at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida that use delicious farm-fresh beets—and, while he has wonderfully nostalgic memories of eating beets in his native Peru, he really appreciates our farm’s varieties.
Chef Isai may, for example, braise baby beets in different vinegars, depending on the variety, or bake them over salt to intensify the flavors. For other salads, he uses sliced raw beets as a way to complement his dishes. Plus, in one of the signature salads at Stirrups, a southern inspired fine dining restaurant located at the Equestrian Hotel, Chef Isai assemble this signature dish: starting with a spread of pistachio dill sauce on the bottom of a dish, he adds braised beets, piped Smokey Mountain goat cheese from North Carolina, the farm’s mesclun mix, shaved fennel, shaved candy stripe beets, dill blooms, smoked sea salt, and a benne seed cracker.
In her role as executive chef and managing director of Blue Jay Bistro, Chef Ashleigh loves to use beets, lauding their diversity and vibrant hues on the plate—and how they can be equally as flavorful when raw or cooked. Although their beauty puts them squarely in the category of Instagrammable food, they’re also full of flavor and nutrition.
Chef Ashleigh changes her menus frequently, and she uses beets in plenty of dishes. In last week’s rotation, she created a marvelous falafel dish using collard greens, raw beets, and sunflower seeds. She also makes a coconut, peanut, and chili salad with beets—and uses red beet and candy stripe beet trim in a suave guave cocktail. Chef Ashleigh cooks down the beet trim and makes a syrup with cinnamon and ginger to use with mezcal.
As executive chef at il Nido in New Jersey, Chef Jordan includes in-demand dishes that highlight the sweetness and natural earthiness of beets. He shares how he believes there is something “very under-rated” about the beet—a versatile vegetable that’s delicious when served raw. Flavors intensify, he notes, with salt roasted beets. In his Roasted Beet Agrodolce, he uses roasted beets, blossom honey, and sherry vinegar.
Beets are in the spotlight, too with his lacinato kale salad that includes burrata cheese and pine nuts.
At The Chef’s Garden, we cultivate multiple varieties of farm-fresh beets, growing them with love and care before harvesting them at the perfect intersection of freshness and flavor. Contact your product specialist for the varieties that blend beautifully with your own menu.