Naked Beets

In winters, when the meadows are white with snow and we are buried under layers of wool, I think back to summers when I’m lying bare-skinned in the sun.  When it’s cold out it takes an effort to keep from curling into a ball and instead to let our surfaces breathe.

The chef Jamie Oliver might think he’s the ‘naked chef’, but I love the freedom of cooking in my bikini! Cooking at my summer home in Amagansett, the humidity adds to the heat in the kitchen, and cooking naked wakes my skin to the aromatic air and smoky scents. Try using the entire body to sense flavors –don’t just leave it to the taste buds! Whether you’re grilling on your deck or at the beach – be a sensualist – feel the breeze on own skin when it’s unencumbered by layers of clothing, and in winters, connect to your inner beauty, unpack any psychic baggage, and let go of all outward illusions. Shedding the superfluous allows your true essence to flower.

Eating simply – is also a way to celebrate the nakedness and purity of ingredients. This ‘Get Naked’ salad is great for summer or winter – and is simply roasted beets cooked in their greens. Never waste beet greens because when roasted they can be delicious – just add a bit of olive oil and sea salt, and voilà! Pure and naked, nothing hidden, nothing taken away!

  • 1-2 bunches beets halved or quartered if large, or whole if they are baby beets.
  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF
  2. Wash and scrub the beets with a vegetable brush as they are pulled out of the soil and can be gritty if not washed properly. Peeling unnecessary if scrubbed clean, and you’ll get more nutrients with the skins of root vegetables.  
  3. Separate the greens from the beets if they are the baby greens – drizzle olive oil and sea salt.  Make sure they are well coated or they may dry out.
  4. Roast, and occasionally toss, until tender, around 30-35 minutes for beets, depending on the size of the beets, and 10 minutes for beet greens, you want them moist!

Serve roasted beets in a bed of beet greens, or micro greens like micro radish greens. Or for an added health bonus, try them with tender mache leaves, which are supercharged with vitamins A and C – even more than lemon juice!

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