Recipes from the Farmers’ Market: Roasted Beet Salad

I made beets this weekend – turns out I like them!  I kind of remembered liking them when I was little, but hadn’t eaten them in years, so I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d *still* like them.  Tastes change and all that (I still can’t figure out how I used to eat raw onions like apples – true story).  But beets are still QUITE tasty.  Unfortunately, they also make your hands look like Lady MacBeth.  So wear rubber gloves!  Or do like I did, and use some sandwich baggies over your hands when you realize you’re starting to look like an axe murderer.  Just be careful when you’re chopping the beets, because the baggies reduce your dexterity SIGNIFICANTLY.  But better to chop slooooowwwwwly than to chop off a finger, right?  RIGHT.  (Especially because you’d have a hard time distinguishing your blood from beet juice.  I’m just saying.)

This recipe was actually just OK on the first pass.  After my guests left though, I started messing with it, and ended up liking it a LOT better.  That’s the version below.

Ingredients
6-8 beets
Olive oil, for tossing
Juice from 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, FINELY minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder, which is what I ended up using)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tbs mustard (Yellow works fine, but Dijon is EVEN BETTER.)

The Recipe
Wash the beets.  Trim off all the greens, leaving about 1 inch of stems on the beets.  Cut off the long root at the bottom.  (Optional: hang on to the greens for Friday’s recipe – they are AMAZING.)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Coat a large sheet pan (a rectangular cake pan), with non-stick spray (or use a non-stick pan).  Wrap each of the beets in a square of aluminum foil, leaving the top part open.  Set them upright in the pan, and roast in the oven about 45 minutes, or until you can pierce them easily with a fork.  Set aside and allow to cool.

Using your hands, rub the skin off of the beets.  DON’T FORGET THE GLOVES.  (I also recommend an apron here.  You do NOT want to mess around with this juice – it stains EVERYTHING – and they WILL be juicy.)  It’ll be really easy – it feels kind of weird, though.  I was expecting something like potato skins, and even considered not removing the skins, but I’m glad I did.  They’re NOT like potato skins at ALL – they’re more leathery and . . . well, they seem like they’d be tough to eat.  They also made me think of little lizards – not exactly appetizing.  (Sorry for that image.  Go scrub your brain with bleach now.  I’ll wait.)

Chop the beets into bite-size pieces (whatever that means to you).  Put them in a bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients.  Use the oil sparingly, and add more as you toss to combine.  (Toss GENTLY – that whole juice thing . . . )  You might also want more mustard – I found that I liked it better with extra mustard, because the sharpness of the mustard offset the sweetness of the beets.  I thought about adding sliced red onion, which would have been good, but frankly didn’t want to mess around anymore. 

How Did it Go?
Surprisingly well, all things considered.  Initially I just had olive oil, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice in there, and it wasn’t really enough oomph.  But the mustard and garlic powder took it from “ok” to “good.”  I think red onion would push it right into “great,” but like I said – I was tired of messing around (plus I had some errands still to run that day).  😉  But I’ll definitely make them again – even though I have to be careful of that freakin’ juice. 

(A word to the wise, though.  This is probably WAY too much information, but you should know, just in case you don’t already: after you’ve eaten beets, they’re pretty much the same color going OUT as they were going IN.  If you know what I mean.  So don’t worry; you’re not dying.  You’re just eating beets!!  Fun, fun, fun . . .  After that information, I hope you kept the brain-bleach handy.)

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Chelsea and I had some awesome BBQ beets at Stone Brewery once. Odd, because I am NOT a fan, but I fought her for every last one! They were white-ish and bbq’d.
    Aren’t beets usually red?

    Reply

    • I bet BBQ beets would be GOOD – the salt/sugar combo is usually a tasty one. And the beets we’re used to seeing are red, but you can also get white ones, and even some white ones with red stripes through them, although when you cook those, the colors sort of mush together and you get a sort of light pink color.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Cooper on March 17, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    That’s right, wait til we leave to make it better! Ha! Just kidding…Up until Sunday I’d only ever had beets at Thanksgiving — you know the kind, the ones that come out of the can, round and funny looking. I didn’t know beets could actually taste good!

    Reply

    • Ha! Well, I figured it was edible, and I wasn’t sure after I messed with it whether it would be better or worse!! Sometimes things don’t go so well, and I end up throwing things out. 😦

      (I have to confess that canned, pickled beets are one of those things I love because I ate them when I was little – even though I know they’re objectively pretty awful!!! LOL!)

      Reply

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