Ruby Reward

Ruby Reward: Beets show their true colors (and flavors) in simple dishes.
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"There are so many wonderful things about beets,” gushes nate allen of Knife & Fork restaurant in Spruce Pine. “They’re sweet, earthy, toothsome, and savory all at once.”

Many taste their first beet—usually a rubbery, canned pickled version—at a salad bar. But Allen goes straight to the source, buying from farmers in Mitchell County and  at tailgate markets across the region.

“The greens are also delicious lightly sautéed in olive oil with onion, garlic, and salt and pepper, or even raw in a salad if they are small and tender enough,” says Allen, who offers this simple recipe for summer: