As I slaved away (!) at my desk early Sunday evening, my husband whipped together a lovely dinner which included this dish. When I wandered into the kitchen and saw it, I just had to take a picture and share.
Being married to a gifted chef makes life tasty in oh-so-many ways. (He, on the other hand, may occasionally find it a tad frustrating to be married to someone who is compelled to document his creative endeavors– especially when it means we can’t eat dinner until I finish photographing.)
Roasting beets takes very little effort and the pay-off is enormous. For less than 15 minutes of effort (they cook unattended for about an hour) you get sweet and intensely flavored beets that keep well in the refirgerator for several days. Serve wedges tossed into a green salad with blue cheese or on top of a prepared pizza crust with creamy mozzarella, basil, feta and white beans.
How to Roast Beets
These instructions are based on beets that are about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Your cooking time will be more or less, depending on the size of the beets.
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Cut off stems and leaves. (the greens are delicious; reserve them and cook as you would any other leafy green such as kale, collard, or chard). Rinse beets under cold running water; pat dry. Wrap beets together in a single layer in foil; place on roasting pan or baking sheet. Roast 1 hour, or until the center is tender when poked with a fork. Remove from the oven, open the packet and let the beets cool.
3. Peel the beets. You may wear gloves (or wash your hands right away in soapy water). Use a paring knife to help slip the skins off– they come off quite easily.
Roast Beet, Feta, Cucumber and Bell Pepper Salad
4 beets, roasted (see instructions above)
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch dice
1 orange bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch dice
3 Persian cucumbers, cut in 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar*
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1. Cut the beets into 1/2 inch dice and combine with the bell peppers and cucumbers. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper; toss with the vegetables and gently stir in the feta.
Makes 6 servings
Nutritional analysis per serving: 122 calories, 4 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 362 mg sodium
* regular balsamic may be used: the white balsamic simply helps preserve the colors better.