Roasted Beets + Salad

    Dressed-Beets   Heirloom-Beet-Salad

Roasted heirloom beets with thyme and honey are a great side dish, salad topping, or simple snack! I love beets- so it’s not unusual for me to snack on them from time to time right out of the jar like pickles (my favorite are these baby whole pickled beets). I used to be creeped out by beets as a kid. They seemed like that ‘untouchable’ item in the school salad bar whose purple origins I found questionable. I don’t remember when I finally let go of my beet stigma, but I am glad I did. These healthy roots are loaded with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants AND anti-inflammatory powers. They also cleanse the body. Beets are wonderfully earthy, soft and buttery in texture, and are best when pickled or roasted.

Beets taste sweet with honey and lavender, but I wasn’t going to bust a mission to get some lavender since my little plant recently died. I always see beets getting prepped at work, so I decided to cook my own fresh beets right at home!  I love the bright golden beets and the way they complement their more familiar dark purple variety.

     Clean-Beets    Thyme-Beets

I cleaned the beets and dried them well. Heated up the oven to 350F and rubbed the beets with olive oil and seasoned generously with salt, pepper, and thyme. My entire apartment smelled like an earthy cave or hobbit house while they were roasting. After around 45 minutes or so I took the beets out of the oven and let them cool on the stovetop. The golden beets cooked faster than the dark purple ones; you can test for doneness by piercing with a knife- if it goes in like butter they’re ready.

          UpClose-Beet

After cooling on the counter for maybe 30 minutes I put on some gloves and easily peeled away the skin to reveal soft, bright beets. Gloves are suggested as the first purple one I began to handle turned my fingers bright magenta. I sliced the beets thinly and laid them in a spiral. I happened to have some free time so I bothered to do this, and it looked very pretty, but you can certainly cut them in thick chunks and toss the ingredients together instead I drizzled the roasted heirloom beets with mustard honey vinaigrette before serving. These can also be added to an entrée salad for a nice pop of color and sweetness. While delicious from the jar, there is nothing like homemade roasted beets to brighten up your plate and palate.

 Peeled-Beets  All-peeled-beets

 Beets; Golden and Purple

Olive Oil
1 tablespoon thyme
Salt and Pepper

Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil
Small splash red wine vinegar (I added leftover diced red onions marinated in red wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tsp Gulden’s Brown Mustard
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 garlic clove grated
Lemon Juice

Garnish with:

Shaved Carrot Curls (Approx 1 Medium Carrot)
Salted Chopped Pistachios
Goat Cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Scrub the beets clean, remove greens (you can eat these too if you like), and dry well. Get a pan with parchment paper ready and rub olive oil on clean beets and place on sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and thyme. If you put honey on the beets in the oven it will burn and smoke. Roast for 45 minutes or until tender. Allow the roasted beets to cool. Put on gloves and gently peel away their skins.

        Roasted-Beets

From this point you can serve the roasted beets as a side dish or on a salad, or the beets can also be pickled. Pickled beets work great as a twist to a classic wedge salad, or maybe with mixed greens and sliced seared ahi tuna. I decided to make a roasted heirloom beet salad. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the beets. Shave carrot curls in the center, sprinkle with roughly chopped pistachios and crumbled goat cheese. Enjoy!