I apologize for the sudden outpouring of beet recipes on my blog. I don’t quite know what’s gotten into me.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I did not like beets until somewhat recently. Not one bit. I don’t know what finally persuaded me, but suddenly I can’t get enough of them! They are just so darn beautiful (and tasty! And good for you!) So many great things rolled up into one pretty little package.
My theory behind the sudden outpouring of beet recipes is that I’m making up for lost time. All those years I spent hating beets…I had no idea what I was missing. So now that I’ve fallen in love with this ruby red root vegetable, I’m going a little beet crazy. To all you beet haters out there: I apologize. I know that my blog is quite beety at the moment. So, I promise that this will be the last of the beet recipes for awhile, OK? Besides, I have spring vegetables to concentrate on now. Bring on the asparagus, radishes, strawberries, snap peas, and more!
However, I will say one more thing to the beet haters out there. If you could find it in your heart to give beets another chance, you might be pleasantly surprised. Beets – when done right – are nothing like their soggy, ghoulish canned counterparts (don’t even get me started on canned beets: ICK!). With that being said, I’ll leave you with a few of the recipes that have helped me learn to love beets.
And now, for all you beet lovers…you’re in for a real treat. I have not one, but two beet recipes for you. I served both of these at my Cheese, Wine and Swine dinner party (However, I did not serve them together, as I thought that might be overdoing it a touch). The Babushka (beet cocktail) was paired with the melon and duck proscuitto appetizer, and the Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad was served as the second course (paired with a lovely French Rosé).
I’ll leave you all with this thought: this weekend, I planted 3 rows of chioggia beets in my garden. So when I harvest those little beauties, I can promise you I’ll go on a beet craze again. For now, I’ll leave you with these two recipes and lay off the beets for awhile. :)
(Makes 1 cocktail)
3 oz beet vokda (Click here for the recipe)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup (*or ginger simple syrup, recipe here)
1 oz of Prosecco (or other sparkling wine)
In pitcher or measuring cup, gently stir together beet vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup. Pour into a chilled martini glass. Gently pour prosecco over the top. Garnish with lemon wedge. Serve immediately.
Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pistachio Vinaigrette
4 large beets
1 fennel bulb
1/2 cup good quality goat cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/8 tsp nutmeg
The juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roast beets: Wash the beets and remove greens (set aside for another use). Do not peel the beets. Wrap each beet in a piece of tinfoil and place directly on rack in preheated oven. Roast 45 minutes to an hour, or until beets are tender when pricked with a fork or knife. Allow beets to cool. Once cooled, the skin should peel or rub off easily. Remove skin and slice beets into 1/4 or 1/2 cubes.
Roast fennel: Remove tops (fronds) of the fennel, set aside for later. Slice fennel bulb thinly (like you would an onion), toss with olive oil to coat. Spread fennel in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven, or until tender.
Make pistachio vinaigrette:
Chop pistachios or pulse quickly in a food processor. Pour olive oil over the pistachios, stir to combine Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cider vinegar. The mixture will be thick.
Whip the goat cheese: using a whisk, blender, or hand mixer, whip goat cheese and creme fraiche together until goat cheese is whipped and fluffy. Add extra creme fraiche if needed. Season goat cheese mixture with nutmeg and a dash of black pepper.
Combine cooled beets and fennel in a mixing bowl. Toss with liberal amount of the pistachio dressing. Take reserved fennel fronds & chop finely – until you have 2 teaspoons worth. Sprinkle finely chopped fennel fronds over the salad, stir just to combine. Serve beet salad in small bowls and top with a healthy dollop of whipped goat cheese. Sprinkle extra pistachios atop the goat cheese. Serve at room temperature.
Note: For those of you who asked about recipes from the Cheese, Wine, and Swine dinner party: I hope you were pleased with what I’ve posted. This will be the last of them! My husband was responsible for making the duck prosciutto, and I’m still waiting on him to write up that post. :) And I’ll admit – the duck proscuitto was really tasty, but we’re definitely still beginners at the fine art of charcuterie. For a full tutorial on how to make your own duck proscuitto, go here.