Thursday, February 22, 2007

If You Can't Beet 'Em

Beets and I, we are just getting acquainted. Our first meeting (outside of a can or a pickle at family reunions) was a bit bumpy. As a rule, I try a new-to-me food at least once a month.

Let me just get this out in the open, and excuse my French: beets are a bitch. I roasted them (possibly not long enough, but they were reasonably tender), and getting the blankety-blank (better Ma?) skins off took me more than twice the time it took me to prepare the rest of my meal. I read tips: "rub the skins off with paper towels." I swear I used half a roll. Dear me, it was rough. From all the hot pink schmears all over my kitchen and hands, it appeared that I had murdered a My Little Pony. Or maybe Barbie. Does Barbie's blood run pink? Out, out, damned spot!

However, when all was said and done, the dinner rounded out well: broiled salmon with a spinach salad with feta, toasted walnuts, sweet onion, and roasted beets topped with a dijon vinaigrette. It was easy to assemble, once I had attended to the beets, and it looked so gosh darn pretty on the plate. Maybe you'll have better luck with the beets.

Roasted Beets
4-8 small beets (figure 2-3 per person)
Olive oil or cooking spray

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place beets, stalks trimmed to one inch, on foil-lined baking sheet. Toss with a little olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Roast, turning halfway through 45 minutes-1 hour, until very tender. Let cool until you can work with them. Rub skins off with layers of paper towels. Gloves might help make this easier. Quarter.

I just put some baby spinach in serving bowls, topped with the beets, some toasted walnuts, half-moons of sweet onion, and a little feta. I drizzled a homemade honey-dijon on top (dijon mustard, olive oil, honey, white wine vinegar). While I assembled the salad I broiled salmon for about 7-8 minutes. Ready to eat!


Anonymous said...

Yes, I'd say you didn't roast them long enough. Actually, I think boiling works better than roasting. The skins are supposed to "slip" off. Don't give up on them- there's nothing like Polish borscht with dill and sour cream....mmm. msc

wellunderstood said...

well, you've done it . . . talked me into a second try at 'em. next week stay tuned for borscht. is there anything special that makes a borscht recipe polish? i must admit, the combination sounds divine!

thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I have roasted beets once and have found that it is easiest to peel them before roasting. They get a wee bit brown but they still taste good. I also love to steam them. They retain their color, and the water in which they steam is a delicious beet juice!