Are you a fan of beets? I have to admit... they had to grow on me. Growing up my mom LOVED them, my dad not so much, and me and my brothers - well - we were on the fence. That is until a few years ago when I was introduced to roasted beets. I fell in love with their intensely earthy, sweet flavor. Plus their gorgeous red and sometimes vibrant yellow and orange coloring makes them pop on any plate.
Beets are a root vegetable known as beetroot or garden beets and they have been cultivated for centuries. The tasty roots date as far back as 8th century BC Babylonia. Aristotle even wrote about the ruby lovelies.
Traditionally the dark-red roots are boiled, served cold over salads, or pickled (which I hate!). In Eastern Europe they are one of the main ingredients in the popular cold soup: borsch.
For me - roasting is the best way to prepare beets and so simple do. This recipe makes a wonderful side to any summer meal!!
SUMMER BEET STACKS
Makes 4 beet stacks
- 4 beets, small to medium sized
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Scrub, rinse and pat beets dry then rub with a small amount of olive oil and wrap tightly in foil (two beets per foil packet). Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until beets are tender and easily pierced with a knife. Allow to slightly cool then carefully remove skin. (The beets will stain your hands and clothing! So I use rubber gloves.) Set aside.
- In a small, dry frying pan toast walnuts until slightly browned. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and walnut oil then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Once skin is removed slice beets width-wise into three or four sections (depending on the size of the beet.)
- In layers, alternate beet slices and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle stacks with balsamic walnut oil vinaigrette, fresh thyme leaves and the toasted walnuts. Enjoy.