Beets: part two

February 24, 2011 § 3 Comments

Today: A very tasty way to eat beet “bodies”.  No, I’m serious. They’re actually good. As in, you might LIKE them, and not just eat them for the nutritional value (high in iron and fiber), or b/c your mother said you should. Beets can be a hard sell to people who have only tasted canned beets.  Slimy, purple, smooshy, and with that metallic, canned taste.  Blech. Well, these beets may convert the haters.

The fact that these beets are roasted instead of boiled gives them a head start on the canned variety.  They leave old canny, the beet, in the dust, however, when they are dressed in a warm, toasted garlic/walnut/orange juice dressing. The dressing is kind of haunting me. I’m mentally noting that toasted walnuts and cooked garlic make a tangy, nutty, sweet combination. Yum. I think, thinned out with more oil or juice,  it would be great on any salad, and with less liquid, it would be a great dip for vegetables. I’m making it again, for sure.  Join me!

mmm, purple

Beets with Garlic Walnut Dressing adapted from “The Minimalist”

2 pounds red beets, about 4 large, trimmed of greens

1/4 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

1/2 cup walnuts

2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets well. While still wet, wrap them individually in foil and place on a cookie sheet or roasting pan. Bake, undisturbed, until a thin-bladed knife pierces each with little resistance. They will cook at different rates; remove each one when it is done. Peel the beets. (You can peel then  easily with your fingers after they are cooked. Use gloves, or enjoy your pink hands.)  Chop into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, put oil in a skillet over medium heat. When it is warm, add garlic and cook until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add  the walnuts and cook until they begin to brown, another 3 minutes or so. Take the skillet off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.  Transfer walnuts, garlic and oil to a small food processor (or a blender?)  Process until you have a relatively smooth paste. Add orange juice until you like the consistency. Add salt and pepper.

Toss dressing with chopped beets and serve.

**You can add chopped parsley for color, but it’s optional.

Makes 4 servings

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