Beets…that’s what I’ve decided to focus on this week. I’ve cooked with them before, but only the canned variety. One day in the grocery store, I saw some fresh beets and was curious about working with them.
Growing up, I was introduced to just about every vegetable under the sun. My mom was great about cooking a variety of food (extremely well), and I’m a girl who loves her veggies! Beets were certainly one of those foods that graced our dinner table regularly. I love this ingredient, and I couldn’t wait to experiment more with them.
I was certainly inspired to devote a week to fresh beets after seeing a roasted beet dish that involved goat cheese…hello? Sold! So then I was on a mission to find more great ways to cook with this fascinating veggie. Here is what I ended up with:
Recipe #1: Peach and Roasted Beet Salad
One of my good friends, Amanda, (check out her awesome blog Midwestern Moms) introduced me to this great recipe site called Gojee. You can plug in an ingredient and they provide a plethora of recipes that include that ingredient. Plus their photos make you want to dive through the computer screen (or at least wish it was scratch and sniff)! The first recipe I saw was this roasted beet and peach salad from a site called Not Eating Out in New York. I was so intrigued I had to give it a shot.
One thing I loved about this recipe was that it wanted you to use some of the stems from the fresh beets. I didn’t know how they would taste, and I was pleasantly surprised.
The combination of beets, peaches, shallots, and beet stems balanced really well with one another giving a little sweetness, crunch, along with the lovely flavor of roasted beets. Plus when you add fresh basil to any dish it takes it to a whole new level.
I was also looking forward to testing out different ways to cook the beats. The recipe wants you to wrap each one beet in foil and then peel them once they’ve roasted in the oven. This method worked pretty well for me, but I did feel like I wasted some of the precious beet by peeling it with a paring knife.
For this deliciously fun salad, click here to get the recipe and step by step instructions.
Recipe #2: Roasted Beets with Orange and Goat Cheese
I find pretty much any excuse to make a dish when I see that there is goat cheese involved (Need I remind you of my Twice-Baked Goat Cheese Souffle adventure? – yum!), so my arm didn’t have to be twisted at all to try out this dish. The recipe is one that I found in my 5 Ingredient Fix cookbook by Claire Robinson (great purchase, by the way).
Once again, I love that Claire can come up with a recipe with only 5 ingredients (Beets, Lemon Flavored Olive Oil, an Orange, Dried Cranberries, and Goat Cheese) and the dish is full of complex flavor. The tartness of the orange and cranberries works so well with the roasted beets and goat cheese.
I highly recommend this dish. It’s really elegant and delicious, and I’m thrilled to have leftovers. This recipe is definitely one that will impress anyone you’re cooking for!
For the recipe and step by step instructions, click here.
Recipe #3: Beet and Fig Tart
I’ve never made a tart before, so I thought this would be a perfect time to try my hand at it. Once again, thanks to Gojee, I came across a great site called Five and Spice, which is where I found this recipe.
The more I read through the ingredients, the more I knew that I needed to make this recipe. You have roasted beets, dried figs, and goat cheese wrapped into this tart and then topped with fresh mint (from my friend, Rebecca’s, garden – thanks Becca!) and a balsamic glaze. It sounded fabulous, so I wanted to save this recipe for last.
I used my remaining beets and this time around, I peeled the beets when they were raw, then thinly sliced them (using a mandolin) and roasted them for about 15 minutes in the oven. I loved that this was yet another way to prepare the beets and roast them. This method would work very well if you’re in a bit of a hurry, want your beets sliced, and don’t have an hour to roast them in the oven.
I invited my friend Courtney over and we happily devoured this dish. It was full of flavor and the touch of fresh mint in every other bite really brightened up the dish. She had never had a beet before and is now a fan. This recipe is a definite keeper, and if you ever have some fresh beets on hand, you should make this tart right away! You won’t be disappointed!
For the recipe and step by step instructions, click here!