I cannot get enough of beets this winter. . . true story! I thought I didn’t like beets, silly me. I have seen them at potluck style meals straight from the can and they just never struck my fancy. Did I try them? Probably not. But look, it is not the canned beets I am craving these days, but those lovely roots in the produce aisle, all golden or deep red. Did you know that they roast up into a delicious sweet treat that is only improved upon with an orange marinade? I am not kidding and unless you have already tried freshly roasted beets and know they really aren’t your thing, you ought to head to the grocery store at your earliest convenience and pick up a pound of smallish beets in any colors you find. They are ridiculously simple to prepare; preheat your oven to 400 F, trim all but one inch of the stem (if yours comes with the greens keep them, they can be sauteed in olive oil along with a bit of minced garlic, salt, and pepper to taste) and scrub well. Cut a piece of tinfoil large enough to contain your beets, if you have both gold and red beets separate the colors onto two separate sheets of tinfoil or you will end up with only red beets at the end of cooking, place beets on the foil, add a couple of unpeeled garlic cloves and wrap securely. Place foil packets in the oven and let them roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, a kitchen knife should slide right through the skin of the beet. Remove the foil packets from the oven and let the beets cool. When beets are a temperature that you can easily handle, peel the skins off and slice thinly or cut into chunks or wedges.
We like these so much that we start sneaking bites right here; but, they only improve with the dressing.
5-10 cloves roasted garlic (the ones you roasted with your beets)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. fresh orange juice
1 Tbl. minced onion
salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze the garlic out of its peel and mash it with a fork. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. Put your beets in a container or two (one for each color) and pour the dressing over the beets. Let sit for about 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.*
To turn this into a one bowl meal I reserve part of the marinade and stir it into freshly cooked rice while it is still warm. To assemble the bowl: dish up the rice and top with roasted broccoli (a la SK), a generous helping of beets, the sauteed beet greens (if you had them or substitute arugula, kale, or spinach), and some goat cheese sprinkled on top.
*These can be refrigerated and served cold too if you like, they also keep well for a couple of days so I keep them to add to salads or grain and veggie bowls.
Love from CO,