Beets

Identification: A tender, bulbous, somewhat sweet root, usually but not always dark red.The tops can also be cooked like other greens;handle and treat beet tops like Swiss chard (see below),which is in the beet family.

Related Varieties: Beets come in several shapes and colors in addition to the common red, including yellow, pink, orange or brick red, and white. Chioggia (kee oh ja) are striped red and white. Shapes include round, elongated oval, and cylindrical. Evaluation: Look for firm, round, uniform size; smooth skin.Tops, if any, should be fresh or just wilted, but not yellow or deteriorated. Large, rough beets are often woody.

Preparation: Cut off tops,leaving 1 inch (2-3 cm) of stem attached to beets.Leave roots on to avoid loss of color and juice during cooking. Scrub well. Steam, boil, or bake before peeling.

Percentage Yield: 40-45% (75% if purchased without tops) Bok Choy

Identification: An Asian member of the cabbage family,related to Chinese cabbage, except the stalk is thicker and fleshier and the green portion is smoother and darker in color. Leaves and stalks are tender, crisp, and juicy.

Related Varieties: Several varieties all form compact, elongated bunches.The most common variety forms large heads or bunches with white stems. Shanghai bok choi is smaller, with pale green stems. Choy sum is allowed to become more mature, so the central stem or core is longer, and there may be small yellow flowers among the leaves.

Evaluation: Fresh, green appearance for all varieties, with no wilting or discoloration.

Preparation: Cut in half lengthwise and wash under running water to remove soil from the crooks of the stalks.Trim bottom by cutting off a thin slice, or cut out core. Cut as desired. Small varieties may be cooked whole. Percentage Yield: 80%

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