Thinning the garden ??? Don’t throw these away !
I enjoyed a lovely home-grown luncheon with a friend recently. Everything, with the exception of the rolls, came from her “spring” garden and it was truly delicious. It reminded me of the meals I had in Italy where the only vegetables served were those in season … and picked that day.
It also took me back to my childhood when my sisters and I would plant, weed and enjoy the bounty from our garden. My mother, (having just come through the depression years), was extremely frugal and nothing that came from the garden was wasted. This was particularly true when it came to thinning the garden to give room for the heartier plants to thrive.
It was this practice that gave me one of my all time favorite food memories and one that I’ve not had (nor even seen served) for years. I’m talking about whole baby beets with their greens. The ones that are in the picture are actually much larger than the ones we used. We would thin out the crop early in the season and the little beets would be barely the size of marbles.
My mother would braise the beets in butter until the greens wilted and then she’d add chicken stock and simmer, covered, until the teeny beets became tender. Then, using tongs, she would transfer them to a platter, add a little cider vinegar and some fresh chopped mint and, VOILA … a meal fit for a king !
Well, that was more than 50 years ago and I can still remember the taste. You’d think I could have replicated that meal by now but store bought produce just isn’t the same.
Anyone out there have a beet field that needs thinning ???