This should be a Vegetable of the Week post, but it has been more than a year since I last had one. It would have to be Vegetable of the Year, or at least Vegetable of the Undefined Months-long Time Period.

This is beet. A Chiogga beet, specifically. Courtesy of Blue Apron. It became a pickle — or at least part of it did, because no way could my husband and I eat a whole pickled beet.

We used to grow these pretty vegetables, and I put them into salads, because you always can, right? I once had an interesting conversation about salads with a group of people who had determined that anything could be a salad if it had three ingredients.

This doesn’t make sense, of course, but it did get us discussing all the thing people call a salad.I feel as though it has to involve fresh produce, but that doesn’t explain pasta salad, Jell-O salad, tuna fish salad, egg salad, or even canned fruit and vegetable salads.

What the heck is a salad? Research suggests that it is the dressing that makes the salad, and the cut up ingredients. Not the number of ingredients, but the cut up ingredients and the dressing. Interesting, eh?

In my search for something interesting to make with half a beet, I discovered Chocolate Beet Cake. Having just been ruminating on the salad issue, I was reminded of the Craftsy class I saw in which a German baker explained the difference between a cake and a torte by saying that a cake had just one or two ingredients.

The Little Girl agreed. The one ingredient in a cake could, she thought, be cake.

So would a beet be better in a cake or in a salad?

This is the big question.

Amount Per

Calories 59
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.2 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 106 mg 4%
Potassium 442 mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 13 g 4%
Dietary fiber 3.8 g 15%
Sugar 9 g
Protein 2.2 g 4%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 11%
Calcium 2% Iron 6%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 7%

Beets have plenty of fiber, and a good amount of protein for a vegetable. They’re chock full of vitamins and minerals, and they also have betaine, a substance that protects our cells from stress.

Maybe some Red Flannel Hash, or Beetroot Pudding?

Chicken hash with potatoes, beets, and kale. Delicious, in spite of the beets, which essentially taste like dirt.

Beet and carrot salad alongside quesadillas.