Greenmarket Grub: Chioggia Beets

Chioggia beets (also called Candy Cane, Candystripe, or Bull’s Eye) are an Italian heirloom variety, named for the Italian city of Chioggia, near Venice, and were introduced to the US around 1840. One of the sweetest varieties of beets — with an 8% sugar content — they lose their distinctive coloring when boiled, although roasting them supposedly helps keep their rings.

Chioggia beets

crazy fractal beet

How crazy looking is that second beet? I was cutting off a piece of skin I’d missed while peeling and it ended up with that fractal effect.

Those beets came from Migliorelli Farm — one of the only farms I know by name, because their fruit and produce is so consistently good. It also doesn’t hurt that they make fantastic cinnamon-sugar cider donuts.

I couldn’t bear to have these beets lose their fun rings, so I shredded them with my all-time favorite kitchen gadget, the Borner mandoline, along with a couple of Granny Smith apples and some carrots, to make this:

ABC slaw

I’m calling it ABC Slaw (for Apples, Beets, Carrots, not Already Been Chewed) and it’s really simply dressed with just olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. One caveat: it’s best when it’s eaten right away. Otherwise, the beets’ earthiness starts to overpower the other elements and the whole thing starts to taste like, well, earth.

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4 thoughts on “Greenmarket Grub: Chioggia Beets

  1. Also: not “Adult Book & Cinema.”

    How cool! I’d never heard of that beet before, but what a crazy effect it has. If I were a kid, I’d totally dig in.

  2. Also: not American Born Chinese or any of these.

    This particular farm usually has signs for each vegetable saying what it tastes like and some ideas on how to cook it, otherwise I never would have known what this looked like inside.

  3. I’ve got some of these growing away in the garden right now, for the first time. Great to see what they actually look like, as compared to the vegetable porn pics we drool over in the winter seed catalogs! Which reminds me, they are horrible germinators and the row is pretty sparse, need to toss some more seeds out there to have some in time for fall.

    The slaw idea is awesome!

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