Though I often prepare chilled or room temperature roasted beet salads, there are actually several ways to consume these little red gems! I almost always start by roasting them; and the outer skins should be peeled regardless of how you choose to prepare them. They can be grated raw and sprinkled on salads and if you would rather, you could chop them and steam them as you would any other vegetable. I suggest a mild sauce or dressing and I particularly enjoy them served with goat cheese. I have heard that raw beets offer the most complete nutrients. None the less, beets are high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, niacin, calcium, iron, and biotin. They help lower blood pressure, maintain blood vessel elasticity, and even help eliminate varicose veins. We eat them mostly because they are delicious!!
I thought I would change things up recently and prepared them with ingredients that I had on hand as a warm side dish. These were simple to prepare and were really delicious!
1 Beet, per person – roasted and peeled
Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper, for roasting in foil
1/2 Cup Walnuts, chopped and dry roasted
2 Tablespoons Walnut Oil, to taste
2 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Soft Goat Cheese, or more to taste
2 Green Onions, chopped
4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme, chopped
1 Cup Fresh Spinach, chopped
Salt & Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast beets after rinsing them and trimming off any leafy tops. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper and wrap completely in aluminum foil. Place on the top shelf of the hot grill or in the oven and roast until tender and easily pierced with a knife, about Bake in the preheated oven until the beet just starts to turn tender, about 45 minutes. Allow beets to cool to room temperature before peeling and slicing.
Meanwhile, spread walnuts onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven, turning from time to time just until the nuts turn golden brown and become fragrant. Be sure to watch the nuts carefully because they burn quickly. Set walnuts aside to cool to room temperature.
Drizzle walnut oil in a baking dish covering the bottom of the dish before arranging the beet slices in a single layer. Crumble the goat cheese on and into the empty spaces of the beets. Sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper and top with the chopped thyme and onions before baking it in oven until beet pieces are sizzling and the edges of the cheese are slightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly, about five to 10 minutes.
Sprinkle beets and cheese with chopped spinach and the roasted walnuts. Drizzle top of dish with vinegar and serve warm.
I served this as a side dish along side of shrimp and scallops; as well as an almond rice dish. It paired perfectly with the CROZE 2010 Chardonnay.