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Monday, July 15, 2013

Can't Beet 'Em

Beets.  Most people either love them or hate them.  But they are becoming more and more popular as people try them in new ways and as their great nutritional value becomes more well known.  (You can read a previous post for a little more info.)

For me, the only way I remember eating beets as a kid was pickled.  And I love them like that (the Dutchie coming out in me). 

I do believe, though, that roasting them best brings out the great flavor and sweetness that beets are known for.  Roast them, skin them, chop them up and serve them with some good extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper--and you've got yourself a tasty side dish.

Citrus pairs really well with beets, and the recipe below--another one that I made at Blooming Glen Farm last week--is a great summer side dish.  You may even convert some beet-haters with this one!

ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH BLOOD ORANGES AND ALMONDS (from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
Serves 4

At the farm, I used regular navel oranges (since blood oranges aren't in season) and instead of arugula (again, out of season), I used red leaf lettuce and dandelion greens.  To prepare the oranges, cut the top and bottom off of the orange.  Using a sharp knife, slice away the peel to reveal the pulp.  Cut into quarters and then slice each quarter into 1/2" pieces.  For best flavor, follow the recipe and toss the warm beets in the dressing.  But you can roast the beets ahead of time and it will still be tasty.

2 lb beets, greens removed
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 tsp sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 oz arugula (about 2 cups)
1 cup feta cheese
2 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
2 blood oranges (see above)
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 400 degrees.  Wrap beets in foil individually and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast until a skewer or paring knife meets little resistance, 45-60 minutes.
  • Remove beets from oven and open foil.  When cool enough to handle, rub off skins using a paper towel.  Slice into 1/2" thick wedges and, if large, cut in half.
  • Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a large bowl.  Add sliced beets, toss to coat, let cool to room temp, about 20 min.
  • Add arugula to beets and toss.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with cheese and almonds.

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