Jul 25 2012

The (Not So) Naked Lunch

Published by Christine at 7:18 am under Lunch,Vegetarian

Brace yourselves, the Reds are coming! Well, technically, not the Reds, but the purple. Purple, earthy orbs that people typically forgo at the farmer’s market (but not yours truly!). They may look unappealing, but for taste and overall health-appeal, they can’t be beat. What are they?

Burroughs' Bunch

Even though they are easily one of my favorite vegetables, I don’t make them very often. My daughter was remarking the other day that we hadn’t had any in a long time, and encouraged me to get some – just not the sad stuff you get in a can. And so I happily did.

There are a few options when it comes to preparation. Beets can be boiled (not great) or steamed (better). My local farmer’s market serves food on weekends, and they make a very nice grilled heirloom beet salad. I hadn’t really thought of throwing those on the grill, but it really works. Back at home, however, I just resorted to the best (in my mind) technique, which is oven roasting. It’s exceedingly simple and brings out the sweetness in the beets like nothing else.

Place each individual beet on a small sheet of aluminium foil and wrap (not too tightly).

Put all of your wrapped beets (many of mine were quite small, as you can see) in a pan, and place in a preheated F375 oven.

Depending on their size, the beets will be done in 30 min to 1 hr - longer if they're really large. You can tell they're done when a knife goes through them easily.

Now they're ready to peel. The skins will come right off. Make sure you wear gloves if you don't want your hands to turn a lovely shade of purple.

Now that you have all of these lovely cooked beets, what should you do with them? Here’s an idea:


Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Walnuts, and Balsamic Reduction

Note: A balsamic reduction is balsamic vinegar that you cook until it thickens (“reduces”). Place about 4 times as much vinegar as you think you will need in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it reaches the consistency of syrup. Make sure you watch the pan the entire time (it does not take long), as the vinegar will quickly burn if you leave it on for too long. I should know. Anyhow…


1.5 lbs roasted and peeled beets
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
a few basil leaves
fleur de sel (or sea salt)and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2.5 Tbsp walnut oil (or olive oil)

Whisk together the oil and vinegar with salt to taste. Slice the beets and toss them with the dressing. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Before serving: place the beets on a serving platter. Scatter cheese and walnuts on top, and drizzle a little bit of balsamic reduction all over. Place basil leaves over the salad.

These beets are dressed (and they're delicious).


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