You know, I don’t have alot of friends…. that is, who like beets! But when I’ve served them up this Maple Roasted Beet dish, they go back for more. We all know balance plays a big part in planning a meal, and integrating root vegetables with your above ground edibles, as well as enjoying a variety of fresh color is all part of the balancing act. Beets are plentiful right now. They are showing up at my kitchen table, juiced, roasted, and lightly cooked, cooled, and then grated and placed on top of a vibrant green salad, sprinkled with roasted sunflower seeds.
Remember all those legendary Russian centenarians? Beets, frequently consumed either pickled or in borscht, the traditional Russian soup, may be one reason behind their long and healthy lives. These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.
Whether beets are a new adventure to you, or you’re a veteran beet consumer …this recpe is a delicious change of pace to the usual “vegetable side dish”.
5 medium sized beets cleaned and trimmed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
½ to ¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons goat cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Dice the beets in ½ inch- ¾ inch cubes by cutting them in quarters lengthwise in ½ inch slabs.
Stack the beet “slabs” flat side down and cut the length in quarters or thirds, depending on the size of the beet. Then dice across beet to create cubes ½ inch to ¾ inch in size.
Place in a large bowl.
Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and salt and pepper until well emulsified. Toss liquid ingredients with the beets and spread in a shallow roasting pan in a single layer.
Roast for 20 minutes, stirring 2- 3 times during cooking. They will start to carmelize and become tender.
While waiting for the beets, toast the walnuts. Preheat a skillet (I use my cast iron skillet) on a medium high flame. Add the walnuts and stir every couple of minutes to toast evenly, until fragrant about 5- 8 minutes, depending on your heat. Remove from heat and let cool.
Transfer beets to a bowl and toss with toasted walnuts and flecks of goat cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Variation: Try using half golden beets and half red beets. Substitute white balsamic vinegar instead of red for the golden beets. Roast them on the same pan, but separate them so the red beets don’t bleed into the gloden beets. Serve side by side.
Also toss a few fresh basil leaves in when adding the goat cheese and walnuts.
So, what do you think of these beautiful beets? Serve them at your kitchen table and please share your comments.
From my table to yours,