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and drink
by Shari Darling
Beets are enjoyable year-round. My
husband loves them, so beets are an
integral part of our year-long diet. In
the spring and summer, we relish in
beet salad with oranges and walnuts
or with goat cheese and pistachios, or
simply buttered and tossed with feta
and fresh chives, parsley and tarragon.
In the winter, I steam beets as a side
dish to sit alongside the chicken or fish.
I was delighted to find two of my fa-
vourite ingredients working together
on the menu of Fulford’s dining room
– beets and barley! They are partnered
in a dish called Beet and Barley Risotto.
Fulford’s is the in-house restaurant
operated by the culinary students
at Fleming College in Peterborough
under the direction of chef and profes-
sor Brian Henry. The students work
in teams to create the menus, which
change every few weeks.
Culinary student Andrew Lecky cre-
ated the Beet and Barley Risotto recipe
that I've included.
Beets should be considered a su-
per food. A member of both the
Chenopodiaceae and Amaranthaceae
families, beets detoxify the blood and
are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6
and C. Beet skin is edible, if scrubbed
clean and grated. It can be added
raw with the flesh to fresh greens.
The most desirable part of the beet
is the root, the flesh. The flesh is a re-
markable source of choline, folic acid,
iodine, manganese, organic sodium,
potassium, fibre and carbohydrates in
the form of natural digestible sugars.
To keep the beet from bleeding, leave
two inches of the stem when cutting
it from its leaves. Beet greens possess
a higher content of iron than spinach.
It’s the quality of the iron offered that
counts here. These greens are also an
excellent source of calcium, magne-
sium, copper, phosphorus and sodium.
Due to all these vitamins and minerals,
beets are highly effective in treating
a whole plethora of ailments, such
as high cholesterol, colon cancer, os-
teoporosis, asthma, constipation and
anemia, to name a few.
When pairing beet dishes with wine,
consider the primary tastes and fla-
vours. Beets are sweet and earthy. If
you prefer to pair them with white
wine, choose one that has a hint of
sweetness to match, such as Riesling
or Gewurztraminer. Refrain from pair-
ing beets with bone-dry white wines
unless other predominant flavours
are added, such as toasted walnuts
for bitterness. Red wines with forward
fruitiness and low tannin are the best
partners, such as Zinfandel, Shiraz and
This is probably one of the tastiest
bowl-loving recipes I’ve ever tried.
Here is the Beet and Barley Risotto
recipe from Fulford’s dining room
in Fleming College. The flavours are
earthy and bright and deserving of
any red wine offering similar