Isn’t it funny how things come in and out of fashion? I wonder if it’s a timing thing or an age thing but it wasn’t so long ago that Brussels Sprouts were the most vile thing evah. Between Brusells Sprouts and spinach, green vegetables were given a pretty bad name. And at some point someone decided to actually saute some spinach with a ton of garlic and everyone realized they are delicious. So delicious in fact that people are now deep frying those suckers. With brussels sprouts, someone decided to roast them or saute them with bacon and then everyone realized that the nutty, faintly bitter flavor was a great vehicle for the sweet saltiness of cured meat. Bring on the lardons!
And now it’s beets. Remember when beets were this nasty salad bar thing that came out of a can? Now someone decided to roast them, toss them in a real salad with a good vinagrette and add goat cheese to the whole shebang and now beets are a staple of every high end restaurant in the Bay area.
So yes, I’ve jumped on the beet bandwagon. I’ve happily eaten them in gourmet salads but I’ve been scared to death of actually making them myself. I was afraid they’d be hard to peel and difficult to cook. I was right on one count. They are hard to peel only because the make a right mess with their red juices going everywhere and staining everything. J was a little freaking out seeing my beet stained hands. Other than that, beets are a cinch.
I had some beets in my vegetable box from the CSA and wasn’t going to let them go to waste. After some online research I roasted them for a little over an hour (the recipe said an hour and a half but we had an appointment to see a condo). Once they cooled, I simply peeled them the way I would cut away the pith of an orange. Cut the top and bottom to make a flat surface and then cut away the peel.
As I am totally a fad follower, I tossed the beets in an orange vinagrette with toasted walnuts and goat cheese and then tossed that in some nice field greens. I’m happy to add beets in my cooking repetoire. Just remember to wear a crappy t-shirt and an apron.