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Sunday, September 25, 2011

roasted beets -- gluten free + dairy free

i'm a bad, bad blogger. i know i've broken the blog code of ethics. i've neglected everything reconsidered for a while now. things have been crazy at home and with work. i've been planning tons of events and have been cherishing any weekend time that i have. i promise i will post more frequently - at least once every two weeks. 

its time for a really, really simple recipe. something reminiscent of the end summer and the transition into the cooler fall months. beautiful crops are abound and beets are making a big appearance. roasting vegetables imparts wonderful flavors and in particular, roasted beets are wonderful. roasting beets draws out their inherent sweet undertones - you simply cannot achieve this cooking them stovetop. the best part about roasting is that its maintenance free – all you have to do is chop up your preferred vegetable, mix with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper (and any herbs that you fancy) place in the oven and let the heat do its work.

i’m a huge fan of beets – i eat them on a daily basis, not kidding. red beets, yellow beets. i love eating them served over quinoa salad, or just by themselves as a snack. they are great straight out of the oven, or post refrigeration. 

i belong to a local CSA and have been receiving a boat-load of beets and other root veggies in my share. the best part about belonging to a csa is not knowing what i’m going to get – it creates a great food challenge for me. i’ve been getting lots of toy box squash lately, as well as cukes – and i’ve started experimenting with putting them up. i've yet to try tradition canning – but recently ventured into making refrigerator pickles (not shelf stable). my next venture will include pickling beets – which will require utilizing traditional canning procedure – IE boiling the jars until they self seal. it seems to me that there is tendency for people to over sweeten pickled beets – i find that to be a huge mistake. beets naturally contain a ton of sugar and to dump table sugar into them is an atrocity. i’ve been scouting the internet to find some variations on typical beet pickling recipes and have decided that i’ll use honey to sweeten the beets.

roasted beets

3-4 beets quartered
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
herbs – if preferred –to taste

preheat oven to 375 - line a baking pan (glass or metal) with aluminum foil. clean beets, remove skin (not necessary - i eat mine skin on) and half or quarter them depending on their size. toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. to amp things up a bit add some fresh chopped herbs to the mix. i used fresh dill since i have an over abundance of it. place beets in lined baking pan and roast in the center of the oven around an hour, or until soft - it will be easy to insert a fork into the beets when they are completely cooked.