Meatless Monday and the Candy Stripe Beet

Mar 2015

What do you call a beet that looks like it’s right out of a Dr. Seuss book?  This favorite of mine is the chioggia ( kee-oh-gee-uh) beet. Meatless Monday welcomes the Candy Stripe Beet, mild in flavor and beautiful in color, it’s a great way to introduce your family to the healthy vegetable.

candy striped beet

Originally from Northern Italy and popular in the 19th century, this colorful beet is making a comeback with the popularity of heirloom seeds and farmer’s markets. The striking pink and white spirals are bound to impress the first time it makes an appearance on your dinner table. The candy stripe can be cooked like any other beet-I’ve even eaten it raw! Tastes a bit like an apple, but less sweet. Be gentle when washing beets, as you want to keep the skin intact so nutrients don’t escape during the cooking process. You’ll also find there will be much less bleed of the color onto your hands than ruby red beets-a huge plus.

This earthy vegetable bring out a pretty strong emotion in people, you either love them or hate them.  Obviously I’m part of the fan club.  Beets come in a wide range of colors and sizes, but the candy stripe is one of my favorites.

If you still aren’t convinced-here are a few more tips:

  • The Romans considered beets a natural viagra. The boron within is related to the production of sex hormones.
  • Beets are high in potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron and vitamin A, B and C.
  • They make a great tonic for purifying the liver.
  • Beets contain betaine which is used in the treatment of certain types of depression.
  • And a piece of trivia-beets were on the menu when the astronauts of Apollo 18 rendezvoused with Soyuz 18-they served borscht!

The rings of the Chioggia Beet while bright when raw, tend to fade a bit when cooked, the flavor is exceptionally sweet and mild. Adding  a little lemon juice or white vinegar to the water helps preserve their color. Mixing them with a golden variety, adding rice, goat cheese and pistachios I had the makings for a hearty dinner salad.

Candy Striped Beet, Wild Rice and Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients : 

  • 8-10 beets
  • 1/4 c. pistachios
  • 1 c. wild rice mix {i like the Lundeberg brand-it’s organic  and eco farmed}
  • 3 oz herbed goat cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste

Cook the beets until fork done, but still firm {you don’t want to over cook}.  Using 2 c. of the beet water, cook the rice according to package directions. This adds a nice flavor to the rice, but you might have to strain it if the beets were particularly sandy. You can alternatively just use water if you are in a time crunch and want to cook the rice and beets at the same time. Cool and slice beets, chop pistachios. Crumble cheese into rice while still warm, add beets, pistachios, salt and pepper to taste and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top.  The salad can be served warm or cold.

So are  you a fan of this favorite of mine? Did I convince you to give them a try?
  1. You convinced me! I love beets but I’ve never seen this particular species before and it’s so attractive. I’d love to try your salad and will be saving the recipe in my digital recipe file for the next time I see beets (of any variety) to cook!

  2. Wow, are these ever fun! The salad recipe looks amazing! Here in Australia, beets (referred to as beetroot) often appear in the most unusual places – like on your burger. I’ve come to appreciate them more as an adult, and love learning about heirloom vegetables.

  3. I love beets. These are absolutely beautiful~

  4. Donna Janke says:

    My husband and I love beets, but I’ve never come across the candy-stripe variety. I will make an effort to look for them. The recipe also sounds worth trying.

  5. I love beets in all colors. I’ll now be on the lookout for this candy-stripe lovely!

  6. Sue Reddel says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Thanks so much for this beautiful beet post. I love all things beets but I’ve never seen that candy stripe beet. Now I’ll be on the look out.

  7. Love beets – And I love the sound of pistachios in this – I’ve certainly made something similar with raw beet grated, sunflower seeds and a squeeze of fresh orange juice!
    Can’t beat beets! 😉

  8. So glad chioggia beets made it here from Italy. they are beautiful and delicious!

  9. Susan Moore says:

    I didn’t know that candy stripe beets existed. I never think to use beets in salad but they are such a delicious addition. I do make borscht soup – such a lovely color and the flavor is superb.