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.
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:
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.