I know, I know… who wants to eat beets? At least, that is what I always thought growing up. Then again, my only experience with them was through a can opener.
When Mark and I went to Australia in 2015, we discovered that beets can be served in a myriad of ways…. this being one of our favorites. We also like to throw them over greens. If doing the latter, forget about whipping the goat cheese with yogurt and just crumble the cheese over top. In either case, pistachios add a delightful contrast in flavor and texture, and if you happen to have a little fresh thyme, it looks lovely tucked in here and there.
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
|8 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
|In a 1-quart bowl, beat together with a hand mixer until perfectly smooth (1-2 minutes). Cover and chill to thicken while preparing the beets.||A hand mixer allows access to all parts of the bowl.|
|1/2 cup pistachios||Spread evenly across a little pan that fits inside a toaster oven; toast at 350°F just until fragrant (4-5 minutes); set aside to fully cool.||Nuts burn easily. Pistachios are soft while still hot.|
|16 ounces beets
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon roughly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
|Position an oven rack just below center; preheat to 400°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer).Place an 18-inch long sheet of aluminum foil over a quarter sheet pan. Cut off beet tops and roots; wash, dry, and rub with oil. Crowd together on foil; distribute seasonings over top. Fold foil edges to form a tightly sealed packet.||Ovens often run hot or cold, or preheat slowly. Baking tightly sealed promotes tender beets, whereas roasting peeled and diced yields a tough, fibrous texture.|
|1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I like Modena)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon roughly ground black pepper
|Bake until fork tender (60-80 minutes). Let rest, until cool enough to handle (15-20 minutes). Meanwhile, add seasonings to a 1-quart glass bowl; set aside. Slip on plastic gloves, remove beets from foil; cut off tough bases. Slide off peels with your thumbs; cube on a dark plastic cutting board. Toss with seasonings, cover and chill 1-2 hours before serving with a smear of goat cheese and a sprinkle of pistachios.||Beet juice stains unprotected hands, plastic, bamboo, and light colored cutting boards. Chilling gives seasonings time to penetrate beets.|
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