Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Woody Guthrie sang about b-e-e-t-s...

...not b.e.a.t.s." I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts - Jon Doe & Exene Cervenka.
Everyone gets a craving now and then, ice cream, pickles, a really good burger, but how many people - besides me and the insane - stop dead in their tracks between loads of laundry and decide they have to have beets for dinner. Don’t answer that, I already know.
I hated beets as a kid, but I grew up with those nasty things that came canned so, no wonder, right? But years ago I was in a restaurant, who knows now which one or where, when the server convinced me to try a roasted beet salad before my entree. It was an epiphany. They were woody, earthy, and just a little sweet from the caramelized sugars. I probably made a cartoon face after the first bite.
Roasted Beet Salad with Balsamic Glaze - by Blog O. Food
  • 4 medium-sized beets, greens trimmed and well scrubbed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 6 oz pancetta, cut into ¼" cubes
  • 2 Tbsp, toasted shaved almonds
  • ½ lb Frisée, torn apart
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2-4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a small baking dish with aluminum foil. Rub beets with olive oil and season with salt, then place in a single layer in the dish. Cover the beets with another piece of foil. Bake for at least 90 minutes. You can test for doneness by piercing the beets with a fork, but the longer they roast, the sweeter they'll get.
While the beets roast, render the fat out of the pancetta by browning in a small skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Start everything out with a  dollop of bacon fat like your granny taught you. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, or until crispy and all the fat rendered. Reserve fat for future use. I use a creamer I bought on Great Chebeague. Grandma used a coffee can, you can too. It'll add the faintest soupçon of legitimacy to your kitchen. I keep mine frozen between uses.
Once you've removed the beets from the oven and they're cooling, start the balsamic glaze. In a small skillet add the vinegar and sugar. Heat on high until the vinegar has reduced to a thick syrup. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
Once the beets are cool enough to handle, carefully peel away the outer skin. Yes, this fastidiously anal Nancy uses gloves. Do you know how expensive a manicure is these days! Quarter the beets.
Add the beets, pancetta, and lemon zest to the Frisée in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the ingredients and gently toss to distribute everything. Pile servings on salad plates, sprinkle the almonds on top, and garnish with lemon wedges. Serves 3-4 as a starter salad.
I got my vegetables, greens, protein and a little crunch all from one dish, and a tasty one at that. Kinda nice to eat light and healthy, and just in time for bikini season!
Thanks for taking the time - Blog O. Food
Although my boy Matty O. Food hasn't worn a bikini in years, he knows this recipe is for him. Three words, bro: Show And Tell.

1 comment:

Megan said...

call me crazy! i love me some beets too. our house and my kitchen is always open for a visit from you! we miss you out here.