I was never much of a beet fan. My mother never made them. As an adult I stayed away from them because the first time I tried to cook them my hands were stained dark purple for days. But the farmers at Collingswood Farmers Market continued to tempt me. They grew and sold the standard dark purple burgundy. But then they put out lighter red with a spiral colored interior and golden beets. Golden beets. That sounded like food of the gods!
Elsewhere in this blog is a post explaining how to roast beets. It’s simple and your fingers do not get permanently dyed. I will explain again quick and easy beet roasting. But now….what to do with them?
Beets are easy, nutritious, and delicious…and now they can be a lovely addition to your elegant dinner table. Yes, elegant.
To roast a beet….
Scrub the outside of the beet with water and a vegetable brush. They grow underground after all. Cut the leaves off (people do eat them…but that is not what we’re talking about today). Wrap each beet in a small piece of aluminum foil. Place each foil packet on a rimmed sheet pan.
Roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. You will start to smell them (very sweet) and some of the sugar may ooze out of the foil…done. Let cool (so you can handle them). When the beet is cool enough to handle, peel it. You can use a knife, a spoon…your hands. The beets will be soft and the outer skin will come off easily.
Slice each beef into thin disks.
Pour your favorite vinaigrette dressing on them and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. (You can do this a day or two ahead and let them marinate for a day or two in the refrigerator. I like to have a jar of them to toss on salads all week).
If you want to make a simple salad to brighten up the dinner table, stir up the bowl of beets with the marinade and top with small pieces of feta cheese.
To make a more elegant dish place one slice of beet on a plate, top that beet with basil and feta soft cheese (from Hillacres Pride), place another slice of beet on top of the cheese, more cheese, a last piece of beet. Three slices of beets makes a very nice presentation and, with the soft cheese, is quite the right portion. Not to mention delicious.
My husband, who is not always aware of elegance on the table, commented on the appearance (“wow”), and the taste (“good”), and the portion (“just enough”).
Beets can be found at Flaim Farm, Formisano Farm, and Muth Organic Farm (the beets for this recipe were purchased at Muth Organic Farm.
Olive oil to make your favorite vinaigrette can be found at Villa Barone.
Pesto and Feta Soft cheese, and plain Feta can be found at Hillacres Pride.