Beets are plentiful this time of year, and beets of all colours. Yellow,orange, red, purple. Beets with beautiful full and fresh looking greens still attached.
I know a lot of people who claim not to like beets. Memories of plain boiled beets from childhood are still haunting them. It wasn’t until a few years ago when a wonderful woman I met introduced me to roasted beets. I think my favourite beets for roasting are the yellow/orange beets you see in the picture above.
I love to use beets raw. Grated into salads or with rice bowls they are marvellous, not to mention delicious. They add a little crunch as well as beautiful colour.
When I buy beets at the market they always ask me if I want them to cut off the greens. Cut off the greens?! Are you crazy? It’s ok. They obviously don’t about about my love for green smoothies. Beet greens are loaded with nutrients which is why I love to use them in à smoothie like this baby beet green smoothie I posted this summer.
The first time I had roasted beets was with baby spinach in a salad similar to this one. When beet season came around this year and I saw the beautiful yellow beets with their greens still on, I thought of making a similar salad, but with beet greens instead of the spinach. Because beet greens are tougher and stronger tasting than baby spinach, I decided to sauté them with caramelized shallots and garlic., unlike the spinach which can be used raw.
Since baby spinach is available all year round this is a great option during the winter when beets are no longer available with their beautiful greens. Local beets are available well into the winter since they keep well like other root vegetables.
For those of you who eat cheese, some soft goat cheese can be a nice addition to this dish as well. It will make it creamy. It is still delicious without. I know because that’s how I enjoyed it. Walnut oil goes nicely with roasted beets if you are looking for other ideas once you fall in love with roasted beets.
Warm Roasted Beet, Beet Green, & Pine Nut Salad
2 medium beets (with beet greens)
1 shallot, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted
a teaspoon coconut oil for roasting
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450F.
Remove greens from the beets. Wash both thoroughly. Dry the beets. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil that will be big enough to wrap the beets in. Place beets on the foil and brush with coconut oil. Wrap and place on a baking sheet in the oven. Roast for 50-60 minutes or until the beets are soft. Check them throughout to make sure they aren’t burning.
Meanwhile, remove the stems from the beet greens. Chop into ribbons.
Once your beets are cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool a little bit. Once they are cool enough to touch peel them using a fork and your fingers. The skin should peel off pretty easily.
In a large frying pan on med-low, add a drizzle of olive oil and the shallots. Allow to cook slowly for 10 minutes stirring often making sure they don’t burn. You want them to brown, but not to burn. This will allow them to caramelize making them oh so sweet, and delicious. Add the garlic during the last couple of minutes.
Add the beet greens to the pan with a couple tablespoons of water, mix together and cover. Sauté for approximately 5-7 minutes stirring a few times throughout until the beet greens are wilted and soft. Add a little more water if the pan gets too dry and the greens aren’t done.
Make sure there is no water left in the pan. Remove from heat. Cuts the beets into 1/4 inch thick slices and add to the pan with the roasted pine nuts.
Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve while still warm.
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