As I mentioned last week, I’ve reluctantly given myself up to the season and am fully back into my cooler weather cooking routine. I make a point of getting home late afternoon on Sunday so I can spend time cooking food for the week while warming the house with delicious aroma of roasted chicken or other dishes. Although I’m not happy it’s getting colder out, the change of seasons does bring some of my favorite vegetables that I haven’t seen in seven or eight months.
I think most people have a love/hate relationship with beets, in that they either love them or hate them. I am in the former category; when fall arrives, I know these ruby gems will be on my grocery list every week. I roast and then dice them for salads, and now make my new favorite side dish: thinly roasted beets with a little bit of sherry vinegar and small pieces of goat cheese.
I’ll sometimes spend a little extra to buy the golden beets from my favorite farm, Golden Russet in Shoreham. Although I didn’t make it to the farmer’s market as much as I would have liked this past season, they sell their wonderful veggies at the coop year-round, so I’m never out of luck. But this recipe is good with any color variation of beets.
The way I always roast beets is to scrub them until they are clean, then place in a shallow dish with a bit of water. Cover with foil and roast at 350 degrees until they are still firm, yet soft. When they are cool to the touch, I’ll peel off the skin and cut into thin slices. Fanned on a plate, sprinkle with sherry vinegar and dot with goat cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
Sherry vinegar is an indulgence of mine; I love all vinegars, but there is something about sherry that I just adore. Unfortunately, it is only sold in smallish bottles and for close to $4 a pop, it’s not inexpensive, so I try to make it last as long as I can. It has just the right amount of tang and flavor and it adds a little something special to any dish or salad. If you don’t have sherry vinegar on hand, I’d substitute with cider vinegar.
Roasted Beets with Sherry Vinegar and Goat Cheese
• 4-5 small beets, ends cut off and scrubbed
• Sherry vinegar (or substitute cider vinegar)
• Goat cheese
• Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a shallow dish (a pie pan works just great), add the cleaned, scrubbed beets and a little bit of water, about a quarter of the way up the beets. Cover tightly with foil and roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until the beets are soft yet firm. When cool, peel off the skins and slice thinly, about 1/4 inch thick. Fan on a plate, sprinkle with the vinegar and dot with the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.