Magazine article Sunset

Inner Beauties

Magazine article Sunset

Inner Beauties

Article excerpt

Hard to find but easy to grow, Chioggia beets dress up any plate.

GROW

On the outside, a Chioggia (kee-oh-jah) looks like any common beet. But slicing it crosswise reveals a gorgeous red-and-white bull's-eye. This heirloom variety dates back to the mid-i8oos and has a sweet, mild flavor that makes it extra versatile. Order seeds from Seed Savers Exchange (seedsavers.org).

EAT

Compared with red beets, Chioggias don't bleed much color, so they're ideal for mixing in salads. Choose small beets if you're planning to eat them raw - they're more tender. Larger ones will be paler and a bit woody, so save them for roasting or boiling.

Plant

SOW seeds in rich, well-draining soil in full sun. Space seeds about an inch apart, and cover with 1U inch of compost. If growing in pots, choose a container that's at least 8 inches deep and wide, and fill with fresh potting soil.

Care

KEEP soil moist but not soggy, and feed beets lightly with an organic fertilizer when tops are a few inches tall. …

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