Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Beet Generation

We get a delivery of organic fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc. delivered every week. It inspires me to find tasty ways to prepare and serve all sorts of produce, some that I had never heard of. Celery roots? Jerusalem artichokes? helps me out when I am at a total loss! While we were in PDX visiting Sylvia (and her parents) we contributed a meal including a roasted beet salad, which turned out to be a big hit.

Roasted Beet Salad


A bunch of beets (preferably with greens - at least 3 good-sized beets)
1/2 cup pecans (either pre-chopped or chop them yourself)
1/2 cup dried tart cherries or cranberries (if cherries, chop into cranberry or raisin sized pieces)
1 small log of goat cheese
2 1/2 tsps olive oil (2 for the roasted beets, 1/2 for the greens)
1 tablespoon water (for greens)
2 tsps vinegar (balsamic, cider, tarragon depending on your taste)
Prepared salad mix (spring mix, arugula, baby romaine) to supplement or replace beet greens


Remove greens from beets
Wash greens thoroughly to remove dirt and sand and drain
Chop greens finely (I like to roll the leaves up like a cigar, slice lengthwise holding together, then make coin sized slices)
Saute with 1/2 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp water, and 1 tsp vinegar on medium heat until green parts are bright green stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes)
Reserve both greens and liquid (liquid will be part of salad dressing)
Peel beets
Chop beets into 1/2 to 3/4 inch squarish pieces
Toss with 2 tsps olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Roast in 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes turning once. The beets should look a little dry on their top sides but not dessicated.
Remove from oven and let cool in roasting pan, reserving oil (also part of dressing)
When beets are cool, toss beets and oil, greens and liquid (if using), salad mix (if using), dried fruit (cranberries/cherries), and nuts thoroughly to "dress" the salad. You can add 1 tsp of vinegar at this point to taste, more or less depending on whether you have the beet green mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Crumble the log of goat cheese over the top before serving. Some people like to serve the salad and put a slice of goat cheese on top instead, garnishing with a whole pecan, depending on how fancy the occasion is.

This also works well with crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese instead of the goat cheese. Other options are using roasted turnips, roasted squash, etc.

And the beet goes on. . . .

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