Here is a healthy, easy, seasonal recipe of mine that I just love. It helps quell those pesky sweet cravings - at a time of year where sugar seems to be temping us everywhere. Did you know that eating root vegetables can be calming and grounding? Give it a try and see if it works for you! Oh and the beautiful vibrant color can be quite cheery. Do be careful where you cut the beets as they do tend do stain. :)
- 1 pound of fresh raw beets (these can be found at the Farmer's Market as they are in season)
- 1 onion, cut into rough chunks (shallots work too)
- 10-12 cloves of fresh garlic, kept whole and peel
- 1 handful fresh oregano, rosemary or marjoram chopped roughly
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 5 tablespoons of vinegar
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup of vegetable stock
- Optional: chopped nuts and/or crumbles of a sharp cheese
How to do it:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut green tops off of beets and set aside for another dish (they are edible and delicious!). Scrub the beats very well, being sure to remove all of the dirt. Smaller beets can be cooked whole but for larger varieties carefully cut into wedges. Try to keep pieces equal in size so they cook evenly.
- Place beets in an oven-safe casserole dish along with the garlic and onion pieces. Season generously with salt and pepper and add the chopped herbs, vinegar, olive oil and vegetable stock. Mix well, making sure all beets are evenly coated and everything is in one layer.
- Cover the baking dish with tin foil and cook in preheated oven for approximately 1 hour. Time will vary according to the size of the beets. After an hour test the beets with a fork and continue to cook until they are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Enjoy while hot or cool and serve cold or at room temperature.
- Optional - add chopped nuts and a sharp cheese for a delicious beet salad. Hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts work well. For the cheese be sure to choose something sharp or tangy that can stand besides the bold beet flavor, such as a blue cheese or a goat cheese (the flavor of mild cheeses will be lost).
Tips and Options:
- Choose beets of whatever color you like, just note that the dark red ones turn everything that color so they are often best used alone.
- If you don’t have any fresh herbs handy, use a heaping tablespoon of dried herbs.
- If you are lucky enough to get beets with the greens still attached, be sure to save the beet greens as they are a deliciously sweet and nutritious. Trying sautéing them with olive oil, onion and garlic for a side dish.
- This is a great main dish or accompaniment to fish or chicken. It also work well served with your favorite whole grains.
- As part of a salad, beets can be served warm or cold. Adding lettuce greens are optional but the cheese and nuts really make the dish stand out.
- Experiment with adding other root vegetables to the bake such as carrots, parsnips or potatoes.