Gold Forno Beets
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Gold Forno beets are small to medium in size, averaging 12-20 centimeters in length and 5-7 centimeters in diameter, and are elongated, oval, to cylindrical in shape with one slender, tapered end. The roots are connected to long and crisp, multiple, leafy green stems, and the root’s skin is semi-smooth, golden-orange, and firm with many small hairs covering the surface. Underneath the thin skin, the flesh is pale yellow, dense, and aqueous. Gold Forno beets are crunchy when raw and when cooked, they develop a tender, fine-grained consistency with a very mild and sweet flavor. The beet greens are also edible and have a semi-bitter taste similar to spinach and swiss chard.
Gold Forno beets are available year-round.
Gold Forno beets, botanically classified as Beta vulgaris, are edible, underground roots that grow multiple, leafy stalks and are members of the Amaranthaceae family. Also known as a Yellow Cylindrical beet, Gold Forno beets are a rare, European heirloom variety that is favored for its fine-grained flesh and mild flavor. Forno translates from Italian to mean “oven” in English, and while the exact reasoning behind this name is unknown, some experts believe it was given this descriptor because of the root’s popularity roasted or baked in the oven. Gold Forno beets develop a smooth, caramelized texture and sweet flavor when cooked and are used in Europe as a table beet in everyday cooking.
Gold Forno beets contain some potassium, iron, vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and fiber. They are also a great source of betalains, a phytonutrient that has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties creating detoxifying effects.
Gold Forno beets are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as baking, roasting, steaming, and boiling. The roots can be consumed raw and are popularly shaved into salads and soups or pickled for extended use. They are also utilized in cooked preparations and can be steamed with lemon juice, lightly sautéed with oils and herbs, cooked into risotto, or roasted for a caramelized consistency. Their smaller size will shorten the required cooking time, and the skin can be easily peeled once cooked. The leaves are also edible and can be torn into salads or lightly sautéed. Gold Forno beets pair well with meats such as bacon, poultry, fish, and beef, herbs such as chives, basil, rosemary, parsley, mint, and dill, fruits such as pomegranates, apples, pears, and oranges, potatoes, microgreens, watercress, fennel, leeks, barley, balsamic, and cheeses such as manchego and goat. The roots will keep up to two weeks with the leaves removed when stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, and up to one week when stored with the tops still attached. Gold Forno beet leaves will only keep 1-2 days after harvest when stored in the refrigerator.
In Europe, Gold Forno beets are favored for their elongated, oval shape and are sliced using the Bias cut. This method of slicing the root at an angle provides a larger surface area for even and faster cooking. Many chefs utilize this hard-angled cut at restaurants to speed up the cooking process and plate food faster for consumers. Gold Forno beets are also favored in the United States for their unusual coloring and a fine-grained texture. Considered less earthy than red beets, Gold Forno beets develop a soft and tender texture when roasted in the oven and are a specialty variety that is commonly grown in home gardens, made popular through the Burpee Seed Company in the 1940s.
Gold Forno beets are native to the Mediterranean region and Northern Africa and were first noticed in the 1820s. Initially, the plant was cultivated for its leafy green tops, and the roots were often discarded or used as animal feed. Consumption of the root itself did not take place until the late 1800s, and the discovery of the beet's high sugar content also led to its increased agricultural value. Today Gold Forno beets can be found at specialty grocers, farmers markets, and online seed catalogs in Europe, Africa, and the United States.
Recipes that include Gold Forno Beets. One is easiest, three is harder.
|With Food and Love||Caramelized Golden Beet Soup with Fall Roots + Garlicky Yogurt|
|Eating Well||Lemon-Herb Roasted Beets|
|Hilah Cooking||Vegetarian Borscht|
|Kim's Cravings||Roasted Golden Beet Hummus|
|The Roasted Root||Golden Beet and Fennel Soup|