Cafe Day at PS33: Make Our Hearts Beet Stronger

For our recent Wellness in the Schools Cafe Day at PS33 we featured beets. They are a local winter root vegetable staple, and we also wanted to feature their brilliant Valentine-appropriate colors of pink and red. Our Executive Sous Chef Martell Fonville made a delicious rendition of Beet Farrotto. Beet Farrotto is also a vegetarian dish featured on our dinner menu. The recipe is prepared similar to a risotto, but made with farro – a local high-fiber grain – instead of rice. It essentially presents the root vegetable three ways: a beet purée, roasted beets with their greens stirred in at the end, and crispy beet chips for garnish.

Chef Martell showing children how to prepare beet farotto.
Martell showing students how to make farrotto

We decided the theme for this Cafe Day would be “Make Your Heart Beet Stronger.” Beets are high in many vitamins and minerals including folate. Folate has been known to increase cell productivity and increase oxygen intake during exercise (from Healthline website).

Individual servings of beet farotto.
Cafe Day servings of Beet Farrotto

At the end of the three bustling lunch periods the Farrotto pot had been scraped clean. We knew our mission had been accomplished. Not only had we shared this healthy beet dish and beet nutrition facts with nearly 400 students, but we had even converted several proclaimed former “beet haters” (a few of them kids and several adults too)!