Tag Archives: beets

Berry Beety Salad

Nothing says summer to me as much as blackberries.When I was a kid I would stuff my face with as much as I could find, and wore the scratches and stains with pride. Here in Oregon, it seems they are always growing everywhere, along sides of roads, in fields, in random bunches here and there, in most people’s yards. We are going to have a bumper crop in our backyard this year. I don’t know anyone who actually planted their blackberries, but everyone seems to have some. Although whatever variety of berries in my yard isn’t quite ripe yet (we counted 5 black ones today, but the rest are still green or red), farmer’s market was bursting with them. I picked up some Marion berries (a local variety of blackberry) that tasted just like sunshine.

In my farm box this week there were greens, greens and more greens. I still have some lettuce from last week too, so I’ve committed to eating some sort of lettuce based meal every day this week in hopes of using it all up. Last night I roasted beets (also in my box this week, yay!), made a simple but lovely blackberry vinaigrette and ended up with this beautiful and delicious salad. When salads taste like this it is far from a hardship to eat them every day.

Beets, berries, goat cheese, oh my!

Beets, berries, goat cheese, oh my!

Berry Beety Salad

2-3 cups leaf lettuce
1/2 cup blackberries plus a few for dressing
3-4 beets
1-2 oz. goat cheese
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
Salt & pepper

Heat oven to 400˚. Place beets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a fork goes in easily when you stab them. Let cool. Peel if desired and cut into bite size pieces.

In a small bowl crush a few blackberries with a fork. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon and salt & pepper. Whisk together to make dressing.

Pile lettuce on a plate. Top with beets and blackberries. Drizzle with dressing and top with goat cheese. Finish with a few grinds of black pepper. Serves 1-2. I ate all this myself, so multiply recipe accordingly.

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CSA Week 18: Baby Beets and Greens with Creamy Polenta

Last week I picked up my last CSA box of the season. I will miss them! The best (and sometimes the most challenging) thing about these weekly farm boxes has been getting some unusual things that I would not normally buy. Like these baby beets with their greens. Baby beets? Greens? What the heck do I do with those? Luckily my farmer is great at offering suggestions for some of the more seldom seen ingredients. She suggested I cook them more like hardy greens such as rainbow chard, which is exactly what I did. I sliced the little beets, chopped the greens and stems and gave them a nice sauté in a bit of butter and olive oil. If you can’t find baby beets, you can use the regular ones. Try to find them with some fresh looking greens, chop them up and sauté along with the beets. Or if you’re not a beet fan, substitute some rainbow chard instead.

One of the things I love best with greens is polenta. It soaks up all the nice juices and adds a richness that balances the greens so nicely. I topped mine with some feta and olives and a few shakes of date balsamic. This stuff is wonderful. If you can’t find date balsamic (I bought mine at ilovedatelady.com), just use any balsamic glaze instead. The little touch of sweetness at the end is just lovely.

Creamy Polenta with Baby Beets & Greens

Creamy Polenta with Baby Beets & Greens

Baby Beets and Greens with Creamy Polenta

One bunch baby beets with greens
3 tbsp. butter, divided
1 tsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 cup polenta
1/2 cup castelvetrano olives (green Italian olives)
Feta cheese
Balsamic glaze

In a medium saucepan, heat three cups of water with a pinch of salt to a boil. Add the polenta and stir. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and polenta is tender. Stir in 2 tbsp. butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until butter is melted and polenta is creamy.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt one tbsp. of butter with the teaspoon of olive oil. Chop beets and their greens and add to the skillet. Sauté, stirring occasionally until beets are tender, about 5-7 minutes. If you like them a little softer, let them go a couple more minutes.

Start with a scoop of creamy polenta. Top with beets and greens, olives and a few crumbles of feta. Drizzle with balsamic and finish with a bit of sea salt if desired.

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CSA Week 8: Spiralized Cucumber and Beet Salad

Week eight brought many goodies, including corn, zucchini, summer squash, green beans (including a weird flat variety that was a little fuzzy), tomatoes, tomatillos, basil, potatoes, eggplant, and lemon cucumbers.

In addition to this I still have a ton of cucumbers and beets from the previous week. In a stroke of serendipity, as I was pondering this dilemma, I came across this recipe from Skinny Taste. I used it more for inspiration than anything else, but it was a great idea, with a little Greek flair, and it gave me a reason to pull out my seldom-used spiralizer.

My spiralizer. A strange little contraption that is pretty simple. Stick the veggie on the little peg, crank the handle and end up with curly veggie ribbons.

My spiralizer. A strange little contraption that is pretty simple. Stick the veggie on the little peg, crank the handle and end up with curly veggie ribbons.

A spiralizer is a fun little machine that turns veggies into curly little ribbons. If you don’t have one, this recipe works just fine if you just dice the veggies or cut into julienne strips instead. I enjoy using this thing, although looking at Gina’s photos made me think perhaps I should have bought the kind she has instead. Mine is not bad, but it works much better on firmer veggies. My beets made perfect little ribbons, but since my cucumbers were a week old, they were a little soft, so I struggled a bit getting good spirals, but in the end it worked fine.

Spiralized salad, before mixing.

Spiralized salad, before mixing.

Spiralized Cucumber and Beet Salad

2-3 cucumbers
2-3 beets
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved
Juice of half a big lemon or a whole small one
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pinch of dry or fresh oregano
1/2 cup feta cheese

Trip ends from cucumbers and beets and spiralize, dice or julienne. I peeled the beets but not the cucumbers. Add to salad bowl. Keep in mind that once you mix this all together it will all turn pink because of the beets so for a pretty presentation, you can keep the elements separate in the bowl and then mix right before serving.

Add tomatoes and olives. Squeeze lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over the veggies. Add seasonings and give it all a quick toss. Top with feta if desired.

And now it's all pink! But delicious!

And now it’s all pink! But delicious!

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Herb-Roasted Root Veggies

I’ve been LOVING the fall veggies this year.  That means much experimenting with cooking and combining them in different ways with awesome results!  This is a simple mixture of roasted root veggies that you can mix and match however you’d like.  I used beets, white sweet potatoes and carrots, but if you like something else better (or don’t like some that I used), any root vegetables would work great in this.  I do this all the time with regular potatoes or just carrots, but this is definitely a nice twist.  The sweeter veggies actually caramelize as they cook, making this a sweet and savory treat indeed.  My kids gobbled up huge piles of these.  If you’re looking for an interesting but easy side dish for Thanksgiving, look no further.  These are as gorgeous to look at as they are delicious.

Herb-Roasted Root Veggies.  As beautiful as they are delicious!

Herb-Roasted Root Veggies. As beautiful as they are delicious!

Herb-Roasted Root Veggies

1 large white sweet potato
2 large beets
6 large carrots
Olive oil
Fresh herbs (I used rosemary, thyme and sage), chopped
Salt & pepper

Heat oven to 400˚.  Peel vegetables and chop into similar size pieces (about the size of a french fry).  Lay out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Scatter herbs on top, add a dash of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Toss about with your fingers and spread out evenly.

All ready to roast.  Minimal tossing will prevent the beets from turning everything pink.

All ready to roast. Minimal tossing will prevent the beets from turning everything pink.

Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring once about halfway through.  Veggies are done when they are tender and starting to brown on the edges.  Serves 4.

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Roasted Beet Spaghetti

Today I have a bit of an unusual dish (at least for me, in my corner of the world).  Psychedelic, hot pink pasta.  I came across this recipe on Pinterest and just couldn’t resist giving it a try.  The recipe was in Polish, but with the help of a translator (thank you modern technology!) and a little creative wrangling and interpretation, I think I got the gist of it.

I am a big fan of roasted beets, particularly this time of year.  Beets are one of those things you either love or hate.  There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground here.  So if you are a beet-hater, just ignore this post.  You probably won’t like it.  I promise to post something sans beet later in the week.  My daughter, Claire, is a beet-hater.  I’ve been working on her, but so far I’ve met with no success in this area.  She didn’t care for this.  Her reason?  It tasted like beets.  Well, duh.  This is why my cupboard is always stocked with peanut butter.  Luke and I, on the other hand, loved it.  The roasted beets are mellowed with yogurt and the zing of goat cheese and lemon perfectly balances the earthy flavor of the beets.

One note:  some dishes are wonderful left over the next day.  In my opinion, this is not one of them.  I did not enjoy this nearly as much as leftovers as I did when it was freshly made.  I’m not sure why, but there you have it.  Enjoy it fresh if at all possible for best results!

Roasted Beet Spaghetti

Roasted Beet Spaghetti

Roasted Beet Spaghetti
(adapted from eintopf)

12 oz. spaghetti
4 medium beets
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup greek yogurt
Zest and juice from one lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
A few basil leaves, chopped
Salt & pepper
Goat cheese (optional)
Lemon wedges for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Poke beets a few times with a fork and lay on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender.  Remove from oven, let cool slightly and peel.

While beets are cooling, cook spaghetti.  Drain, reserving a bit of the cooking water.

In a food processor combine beets, olive oil, lemon juice, onion and garlic.  Process until finely chopped, nearly smooth.  Add yogurt, lemon zest and basil leaves.  Process until smooth.  Toss mixture with hot pasta.  Add a couple tablespoons of the pasta water if needed to coat the noodles smoothly.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Top with crumbled goat cheese (if desired), fresh basil and serve with lemon wedges.

Roasted Beet Spaghetti, without goat cheese.

Roasted Beet Spaghetti, without goat cheese.

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Roasted Beet and Pear Salad

I have been absolutely loving farmer’s market this year!  This week I bought red and golden beets, blueberries, pears and goat cheese.  Since I couldn’t decide what to eat first, I decided to throw it all together into a yummy salad, perfect for a warm summer evening.

My first big bunch of basil was ready to harvest so I whipped up a batch of pesto this week.  It made the perfect vinaigrette to complement a summery salad. Along with the goat cheese and walnuts, it balances the flavors and keeps it all from being too sweet.

Roasted Beet and Pear Salad

Roasted Beet and Pear Salad

Roasted Beet and Pear Salad

*Note: adjust the quantities of the ingredients for your own tastes.  I used one pear and 2-3 beets for each salad.

Beets – red or golden or a mixture of both
Pears, peeled and sliced
Blueberries
Walnuts
Goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400˚.  Scrub beets and place on a roasting pan.  Roast for 30 minutes or until fork tender (this will depend on the size of your beets, check them after 20).  Peel and slice beets.  Layer beets and pears.  Sprinkle blueberries, walnuts and goat cheese over the top of the salad.  Serve with pesto vinaigrette (see below).

Pesto Vinaigrette:

1 tbsp. basil pesto
2 tbsp. minced red onion
2-3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper

Whisk together all ingredients.

Pesto Vinaigrette.  Drizzle over the top of the salad (or on anything!) or serve on the side.

Pesto Vinaigrette. Drizzle over the top of the salad (or on anything!) or serve on the side.

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Kaleidoscope Salad

Every once in a while you hear someone say something is “just too pretty to eat.”  Are you kidding me?  I love eating pretty food.  The prettier the better.  But I have little patience for fancy food styling.  When you use food that is pretty to begin with though, there isn’t much need for that.  The colors in this salad reminded me of a kaleidoscope, bright and beautiful, turning round and round.  The fact that eating a variety of colors is a healthy thing to do and that it all tastes amazing together…well that’s just a bonus.

Kaleidoscope Salad. So pretty!

Kaleidoscope Salad

Salad (per serving):
3-4 small fresh beets
3/4 cup sliced carrots
1 cup romaine lettuce, torn or chopped
1/2 cup fresh or canned mandarin oranges (drained if you are using canned)
2 tbsp. goat cheese

Dill Vinaigrette:
5 tbsp. vinegar (I used a combo of apple cider and red wine vinegar)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp. minced shallots

Roast beets in the oven at 400˚ for about 30 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork.  Take out and let cool.  Peel and slice.  Meanwhile, mix all vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl.  Toss about half the dressing with sliced carrots and beets.  Build your salad starting with a bed of romaine.  Add carrots and beets, surround with oranges and dot with goat cheese.  Drizzle extra dressing over the top if desired.  If you have dressing left over after that, it will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.  Put it on eggs, salad, veggies or fish!

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Pasta with Roasted Beets, Spinach & Goat Cheese

Beets are one of those things about which nobody has a mild opinion.  You either love them or you hate them.  Me? I love them.  They are actually one of the few vegetables I will buy in a can.  I like them pickled and not pickled. But the best way to eat them is of course to buy them fresh when they are in season and roast them in the oven.

In case you’re wondering, beets are terrific for cardiovascular health, contain significant levels of Vitamin C, potassium and B vitamins, among other vitamins and minerals.  Some people even believe they are an aphrodisiac.  The greens are also very nutritious.  And incidentally, if you have small children, this is a great veggie to introduce while the kiddos are young because it’s sweet and they love it.  At least, my daughter used to love it.  Now not so much.  But Luke and I are big fans.

One of the most fun (and sometimes annoying) things about beets is that they turn everything pink.  Never cook beets while wearing white.  Of course, I don’t cook anything while wearing white.  But especially not these.  In this pasta, the more you stir it up, the more pink the sauce gets.  I just barely tossed it so it was more of a pink swirl.  And I chose campanelle pasta because it looks like a flower so it would be pretty when it’s pink. 🙂

Pasta with Roasted Beets, Spinach and Goat Cheese

Pasta with Roasted Beets, Spinach & Goat Cheese

8 oz. Campanelle (or other smallish-shaped pasta)
1 cup sliced roasted beets
3-4 cups fresh baby spinach
5 oz. goat cheese (1 small package)
Salt & pepper

To roast beets, I leave them whole, with the skin on (less juice everywhere when you do it this way).  Trim the greens (some people eat those too), drizzle with a little olive oil and roast in the oven at 400˚ for about 30 minutes until tender when stabbed with a fork.  Let cool, peel and slice.

Cook pasta until tender but not overcooked.  In a large serving bowl (or you can do individual servings if you have some beet haters) place spinach.  Scatter sliced beets over the top along with dollops of goat cheese scattered about.  Drain pasta (reserving a bit of the pasta water).  Add pasta to serving bowl along with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Toss lightly to combine.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.

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