Roasted Beets

Being vegetarian was easy for me because there was nothing vegetable based that I would not eat, except for beets! Must have been some suppressed childhood experience, but I would never go near the things. A couple of years ago, someone recommended that I try them pickled; I usually love anything pickled, so decided to buy a small jar of pickled beets from the supermarket. They were good, but you know, you could not really taste the beets, just the delicious pickling components, so it still never felt like I was over my dislike of beets. Recently I got it in my head that I had to conquer this general distaste, and figured roasting was a good option and if I still could not eat them, thankfully Mr VdeT has no aversion to them whatsoever, so they would get consumed.

Well the solution is roasting! The beet flavour is favourably enhanced and the richness fills each mouthful with goodness. I roasted the beets, cooled them thoroughly and served them over mixed greens, it made for an excellent autumn salad.

This quantity was sufficient for a salad serving 6.

6 medium beets, peeled and cut into 6 wedges each.
Toss beet wedges in your favourite salad dressing, just enough to coat evenly. I made my own vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and a tablespoon of honey as the emulsifier. The honey is the key ingredient because it helps the beets get caramalized while roasting. Once tossed with dressing, put the beets in a single layer of foil; cover with a second layer of foil and close the ends, forming a pouch for the beets. Put this in a roasting tray into a 400 degree oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes, then remove the top layer of foil and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully because they can burn easily, especially given the honey component to the dressing. Once you can pierce them easily with a fork, they are ready to be removed from the oven.

I used the same dressing on the beets as for the salad that I served them with; greens, dried cranberries, roasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. Given that as of this week, Canadians can once again buy US grown baby spinach, I would recommend the robustness of spinach as a great salad base for your beets.

If you have not already seen it, I would recommend the new Food TV Canada show called
Ricardo and Friends
(new for those of us outside of Quebec). Ricardo does some mouth-watering recipes with a focus on locally grown ingredients; he also has energy and enthusiasm that you can not help but enjoy watching.

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