These aren't the sad pickled beets of your Sizzler salad bar, circa 1985. The fresh, area beets from farmers markets, roadside stands, and your nearby co-op are full of flavor and can be used in a variety of ways. Il Gatto, the Italian darling at Calhoun Square has two (yes, two) beet dishes on its regular dinner menu, proving that chef Jim Christiansen is well aware of the power of the purple (or golden).
Minnesota beets on Minnesota soil
When asked to share some of his favorite beet preparations, Christiansen said, "Beets would be a great idea--they are coming into season right now locally."
We couldn't agree more. Eschew the California varieties offered at your supermarket and go for the local beet roots and greens. Then you can try out some of the recipes that Christiansen shared with the Hot Dish. Or, you can stop into Il Gatto for dinner and have them prepare the Barbabietole for you.