February 3, 2010
Beets are the classic example of a culinary love or hate relationship (kind of like cilantro or coconut or blue cheese). There are those who either coo at them (“oooohh, beeeeeeets”) or turn up their nose (“eeewwww, beeeeeeets”). As you might have guessed by the title of this post, I’m in the cooing camp. I’ll take them any way they come. Simply prepared, like roasted with a sprinkling of salt, or tossed in a salad of butter lettuce and topped with goat cheese and walnuts. Last week I spotted golden beets at the grocery store and had to have them. And while I realize it’s not exactly beet season, I didn’t have the heart to leave them there, orphaned. Especially with the abundance of winter citrus still lingering which would make for the perfect accompanying vinaigrette.
Look at them! All awkward and misshapen. Can you blame me for not wanting to abandon them?
If you’re a lover of beets then you know that they sing and dance when paired with citrus. I kept this simple, just tossed roasted beets and sliced red onion in a light citrus vinaigrette. You could certainly dress this up with some pretty greens, a tangy or salty soft cheese, some toasted nuts. Trade the red onion for a bit of thinly sliced fennel. Add fresh orange segments. If you can’t find golden beets, swap in ruby red ones. Or chioggia if you can find them.
These keep getting better the longer they relax in the fridge, which wasn’t more than two days in my house (they found themselves included at every meal and I haven’t a clue how). If possible, I suggest preparing this a day in advance of serving to allow the beets time to marinate.
Golden Beets in Citrus Vinaigrette
- 2 pounds fresh beets
- 2 T minced shallot
- 2 T orange zest
- 1/4 cup + 2 T freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- scant 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 medium red onion, sliced into thin moons
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Clean beets (do not peel) and remove greens to within 1 inch. Wrap each beet separately in foil and place in a baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Remove from foil and allow to cool until comfortable to handle. Peel and cut into wedges or slices.
To make vinaigrette, combine shallot through black pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Toss beets and red onion in vinaigrette and allow to marinate at least an hour (overnight is best).