I love
Beet "Celery"

Dateline: 25 June 2013

Some beet greens in my 2013 garden

If you have seen my Planet Whizbang logo, you would not be surprised to learn that I like beets. Beet greens are especially lovely to me. Steamed beet greens (with a little homemade cider vinegar dripped on top) are something pretty special. But I think garden-fresh beet "celery" is pretty special too.



Beet "celery"


Beet "celery" is my term for the succulent, stems of beet greens.  They are celery-like when they are just-picked, and they are delicious.

The best way to enjoy beet-celery is to pull up a beet plant when it is lush with leaves but the beet root is not yet formed, like shown in the picture above. Then break off a stalk at the base and, with the leaf in your hand, feed the stalk into your mouth, while chewing it down—like Bugs Bunny chews down a carrot. 

As you crush the stem with your teeth, the earthy-sweet, raw beet-stem juices are easily released, and that's what it's all about. Stop when you get to the leaf, and start "juicing" another length of beet-celery into your mouth.

As with the familiar celery-celery, beet-celery has some internal "strings," but they are no problem at all. You can spit them right out after extracting the stem-juice, or you can just chew the strings for awhile.

You can't buy good beet-celery, even at the best of farmer's markets. That's because beet stems go limp soon after picking, and there is nothing particularly good about limp beet-celery (but limp greens can be successfully steamed). The only way to truly experience beet celery at its very best is to chew-juice the stalks within a few minutes of picking. Within a few seconds is even better. I typically enjoy a few stalks of beet celery right in the garden, and they are best in the morning.

Just writing about beet-celery makes my mouth water with anticipation. It's now 6:00 in the morning. Birds are singing their morning songs outside my window. The day will be hot and muggy, but it is still morning-cool. Everything is fresh outdoors, including the beet-celery. The beet-celery is beckoning me......


P.S. Beet celery is not something you eat a lot of. One bunch of celery stems from a single beet is just enough for me. It's something of a garden tonic. Try it and see what you think.



4 comments:

Cynthia (C.L) Lewis said...

I'm debating whether or not to try the "celery". I never eaten beet greens but as I've eaten many other types of greens I'm sure I would like the steamed beet greens. The stalk however leaves me a bit wary. I'll let you know if I try it or not. We have beets out in the garden so the possibility is there.

Herrick Kimball said...

Cynthia,

Beet celery is one of life's simple little pleasures.... be brave.

Mike Peterson said...

I also love beet greens, have always cooked them, and have never tried the fresh stems. I guess I'll have to plant beets as a 'second crop' (where the lettuce and peas are now), so I can try them in Sept or so.

Anonymous said...

This looks like what we call beetroot. It colours the "water".