I made my first dinner tonight using the beets and a tomato from my CSA share. First up were the beets. I separated the bulb from the stem/leaves and then the leaves from the stems.
I've never really eaten beets before, but I heard that the leaves could be sauteed and my mom suggested that I try eating the beets raw "pickled" in soy sauce, sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and garlic.
After washing the leaves thoroughly, I ripped them into smaller pieces and sauteed them with some crushed garlic and salt. As a side note- Chinese people will eat almost any leafy vegetable sauteed with garlic and salt. I found the leaves to be a little bitter, but I still enjoyed them.
I cut the ends off the bulbs and peeled them using a vegetable peeler. Then, I cut them in half and sliced the beet thinly into half moon shapes. I tossed them with a little salt (~2 t) and let them sit for 1/2 an hour. According to mom, this process takes the "raw edge" off the beets. Then, I drained the water that exuded from the beet and added some soy sauce (about 1 T), crushed garlic (about a clove), sesame oil (~1 t), sugar and vinegar (in equal parts to taste). You should add less soy to begin with just to make sure it doesn't come out too salty. This dish was extremely refreshing;however, I felt as though some of the beet flavor was lost behind the marinade. I tried a piece raw while I was slicing it, and beets are surprisingly sweet.
Then I tackled the tomato.
I usually don't like tomatoes, but this one was fresh, juicy, and extremely flavorful. It wasn't even that sour! I made some tomato and eggs with it- a staple in Mama Yu's kitchen. First I scrambled two egg whites with 1 egg (can't eat too much cholesterol!) and a little bit of kosher salt. Then, I cooked the eggs about half way, pulled them out of the pan. and put them aside. Next, I added a little oil to the pan and sauteed my tomato (which I cut into wedges). After about 2 minutes I added about 1/2 a cup of water and 1 T of sugar and let it simmer until the tomatoes were cooked through and the water had mostly evaporated. I added the eggs back in with some diced scallion and 1-2T of ketchup and mixed until it was well incorporated.
I served everything with some left-over brown rice. The final product:
Everything was flavorful and delicious! Looks like this is the start to a predominately vegetarian summer!