Did you join a CSA this summer? Having a hard time coming up with ways to use up all those beets? Thankfully I avoided the temptation of joining a CSA so I am still free to choose my produce…but I think a lot of people don’t know what to do with beets. They’re delicious, full of white-clothes-ruining power, and don’t provide an obvious meal suggestion. This easy pasta dish uses both the beet roots and the beet greens so it takes care of the whole thing, all without turning on the oven.
It’s been one hell of a hot summer here in Chicago, and without central air conditioning there are few things that can induce me to turn on the oven. But beets should be roasted. Simple solution? Roast your beets in the crockpot! Wrap them in aluminum foil and put in a dry crockpot on high for about an hour and a half and presto! Out come perfectly cooked, delicious beets, without making your kitchen even hotter than it already was.
Cut the roots from the greens of the beets. Wrap the roots in aluminum foil, individually for large ones and in groups of 2 or 3 for smaller ones. Place into a dry crock pot and cook on high for 1-2 hours (check after an hour). Remove and let cool. You should be able to peel the skins off without too much trouble (wear gloves if you’re worried about having red fingers for a few hours). Chop into small bite-size pieces and set aside.
Cook the pasta. In the meantime, remove the tough stems from the greens and roughly chop into 1-2 inch pieces. Sautee the onion, garlic, and greens for about 3-4 minutes, until greens have just started to wilt. Stir in the beet roots and the pasta, add olive oil, lemon juice, and cheese if using. Serve immediately and enjoy how the pasta turns a magic bright fuschia color.