Easy Beets and Potatoes

beets 6 10.26.13One of the nice things about beets is that you can find them in convenient eight-ounce packages, steamed and peeled and “ready to eat hot or cold,” as the package says.

Now, beets aren’t a very inconvenient vegetable to begin with, though they may have a ¬†little of that perception, because, if you’re working with red ones, then you’re wary about beet juice and staining. But you’re likely not wearing your best clothes if you’re peeling beets, and, as far as dying your hands, well, really it all pretty much rinses right off under running water. Other than peeling them before or after they’ve cooked, they’re basically on their own while they’re simmering on the stove or roasting in the oven for an hour or so, while you go about other things.

But if beets weren’t at the farmers market when you were there, then the pre-packaged baby ones are perfect…and a nice partner with the small new potatoes that you did find at the farmers market, “you” in this scenario meaning me.

This combo is super easy. I rinsed and peeled a handful of the small new potatoes, put them in a small pot with enough water to cover them, and, once the water came to a boil, simmered them til they were tender, between 10 and 15 minutes. But check them sooner, because they’re small and cook quickly.

In the meantime, I opened the package of baby beets and drained and rinsed them in the strainer.

When the potatoes were done, I drained them, placed them in a bowl, mixing with rice vinegar, so the potatoes would absorb it while still warm, and salt and pepper. Rice vinegar is my go-to vinegar. I love its bright crispness.

beets 2 10.26.13I added the beets to the potatoes. Sprinkled thinly sliced scallion over top, as well as marjoram leaves (lots of marjoram in our garden!). Then salt and pepper, a few more shakes of vinegar, and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Stirred lightly, in an effort to try to preserve the whiteness of the potatoes, but they inevitably took on some of the red, and are maybe all the prettier for it.

Beets and potatoes. Easy to make…and easy to eat.


Cantaloupe and Cucumber

cantaloupe 3 8.17.13The melon in my fridge this week was a cantaloupe. I had chopped half of it to put in a bowl to snack from, which we did. The other half, orange exposed, sat in the fridge waiting its turn. It was really just the colors, seeing that orange whenever I’d open the refrigerator door, and then seeing the cucumber, that made me put them together. Very simply.

Sweet, orange cantaloupe slices. Crispy, pale green cucumber slices. Chopped basil and marjoram sprinkled over top.

A light snack while my husband and I talked, sitting at the kitchen table.