Many eaters think beets are trash.
But like Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch loves trash, I have a special place in my
heart for beets even if others in my life get kind of curmudgeonly about them.

Oh, I love beets!
Any one that’s earthy, or sugary, or musky
Any one that’s reddish, or yellow, or dusky.
Yes, I love beets.

I have here a root that’s jagged, its leaves on top flopping,
Its skin is all full of indents and its whiskers are popping.
But it’s a gift from my farmer that I picked up shopping.
And I love it just because it’s a beet!

Oh, I love beets!
Any one that’s earthy, or sugary, or musky
Any one that’s reddish, or yellow, or dusky.
Yes, I love beets.

I have here some greens removed from their root.
I’ve wrapped them around other veggies for starters and make a sauce for salmon to boot.
I wouldn’t trade these beet leaves for a big bag o’ loot!
I love them because they come are product of beets.

Oh, I love beets!
Any one that’s earthy, or sugary, or musky
Any one that’s reddish, or yellow, or dusky.
Yes, I love beets.

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There are so many ways to cook beets,
There are pickles, chopped salads and sweet treats.
There is beet borscht, beet gnocchi, and a beet Reuben.
I eat them all because they include beets.

Oh, I love beets!
Any one that’s earthy, or sugary, or musky
Any one that’s reddish, or yellow, or dusky.
Yes, I love beets.

I’ve read articles about beets being healthy, not risky,
I’ve read others about how they can make you feel frisky,
Especially when combined with chocolate and whiskey,
Regardless of motive, give them to your sweetie just because they are beets!

Oh, I love beets!
Any one that’s earthy, or sugary, or musky
Any one that’s reddish, or yellow, or dusky.
You simply can’t beat beets!

If you’re looking to show a little extra love to the sweethearts in your lives this week, serve them some local beets. Whether you present them front and center on the plate or disguise them as dessert, it up to you. Either way, know they are very good for any body and are in very good supply in Maine this time of year.

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Christine Burns Rudalevige is a food writer, recipe developer and tester, and cooking teacher in Brunswick. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Molten Chocolate Beet Cakes with Whipped Bourbon Cream. Chocolate and red (beets) combine for Valentine’s. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Molten Chocolate Beet Cakes with Whipped Bourbon Cream

Serves 2

1 medium red beet
6 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing ramekins
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup dark muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream, for serving
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 ½ tablespoons bourbon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the beet in a small pot with enough water to cover it. Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil and cook the beet until it is tender, 30-40 minutes. Drain the water, let the beet cool, peel the beet and cut it into chunks. Place chunked beet in a food processor or blender and puree. Measure 1/4 cup of puree and freeze the rest for another use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium metal bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, and melt the chocolate and 4 tablespoons butter slowly, stirring occasionally. Transfer the bowl to a work surface.

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Combine the whole eggs, egg yolks and muscovado sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture, beet puree, flour and salt. Whip at medium speed until it comes together into a smooth batter, stopping once to scrape the sides the bowl.

Divide the batter among two (8-ounce) well-greased ramekins. Bake until the edges are set but the center is still soft, 8-10 minutes.

While the cakes bake, make the whipped cream. Combine the cream and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated into the cream, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the cream begins to form soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer. Add the bourbon and vanilla and beat on medium until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.

Serve the cakes still warm with a heavy spoonful of bourbon whipped cream.

Columnist Christine Burns Rudalevige whips cream for bourbon whipped cream. Check out the T-shirt. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer


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