I have a complicated history with beets. If you’ve been reading for a while you may remember (you won’t remember) a post I did back in 2012ish where I made a beet and goat cheese ravioli that Michael Symon cooked on The Chew. At the time I had never had beets and I guess I assumed because I’m an unfussy eater that I would like them.
So I definitely spent a good chunk of my strict 50$/week grocery budget on goat cheese, wonton wrappers, and tarragon. Not to mention a lot of time and hard won technique putting those suckers together. Only to discover that they tasted like DIRT.
(I think I’ve since deleted that post because in a similar time of being broke AF I opted not to pay the $9 or whatever it cost for more storage on this thing and deleted some recipes that I didn’t think were great.)
The first time I ever brought the GS to camp, we had a frequent (usually uninvited) visitor for dinner. All my Hale relatives know who I’m talking about. I had prepared this orzo dish and he insisted we add beets to it. I explained that I don’t like beets and didn’t want to add them and he did it anyway and turned the whole thing purple and (for me) inedible and I’m clearly still not over it.
Flash forward to present pandemic days where we are supporting our local organic market by ordering CSA boxes (see my previous post on cabbage) and this one included beets.
My first instinct was to orchestrate a no-contact dropoff of the beets to my vegan SIL, but I decided to try to overcome my distaste and reached out to my small but mighty Instagram community for input.
I came away with suggestions from smoothies to baby food and decided on something in between, based on the other items in my box!
Roasted Beets & Some Other Ingredients I Had at My House
1 large sweet potato
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced
olive oil, S&P, garlic powder
Trim off the end of the beets and peel them. Are there special gloves for this?
Chop the sweet potato and onion. Roughly bite-sized pieces.
Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
With about 20 minutes left, put your balsamic in a frying pan. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat, stirring and letting it cook down until syrupy.
Once the veggies are done, top with the chopped pistachios and the feta. We got amazing feta from DiPasquales and the pre-crumbled kind will never measure up. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the whole thing.
Do I still think beets taste like dirt? Yes. But this combination really worked for me. We both loved it and had the leftovers for lunch today with fried eggs on top!
Moral of the story is we’re all about to discover some weird stuff that has been in the pantry for a long time. If you can support local to get some fresh foods in your gut, do it!