Just Beet It

Let me start by saying I fucking love beets.
They’re delicious, they’re nutritious, and when anyone walks into the room you can hold up your beet-stained hands and scream “WE”RE LOSING HIM. DAMN IT JIM GET THE PADDLES!”
Disclaimer: They will make you pee pink. You are not, in fact, dying. As you can probably guess, I learned this the hard way. There is no need to call your mom at two in the morning in tears over your impending doom. It’s just beet pee. 
Disclaimer #2: Beets will stain everything you have ever loved pink. DO NOT wear clothes you are attached to without wearing an apron. That stain will outlive you, me, and the apocalypse. You have been warned. 
The first time I willingly ate beets was in a restaurant a few years ago. Someone ordered a beet salad and after reluctantly taking a bite, my whole world changed. Turns out beets are not just something your grandma tries to make you eat on holidays, they’re fucking good. I strongly considered not telling anyone and just hoarding beets for myself but I love you guys and I’m low-key scared of turning my whole body pink. Save me from myself.
Beets are sweet, flavorful, and, when done right, the perfect texture. The best thing about them is that they lend themselves to simple, easy recipes. The less you mess with them, the better they’ll be.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 beets, depending on size
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 container of Boursin garlic and herb cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Pinch sugar
The Breakdown:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F.
  2. Wash the beets and get em squeaky clean. Remove stems and greens. DO NOT throw away those beet greens. I will be very upset with you and you will be missing out on a beautiful thing. See note below. 
  3. Lovingly tuck them into a tinfoil packet. Read them a bedtime story, drizzle them with olive oil and then pat them on their little heads before closing up their little nest and tossing them in the oven on a sheet pan for 40-50 minutes or until tender when poked (lovingly, of course) with a fork or other equally pointy instrument.
  4. Now this is a very important step: when you remove them from their oven slumber and open up the tinfoil, let them cool. No touching for 15-20 minutes. Guess how I learned that? BEET BURNS. 0/10 experience. Have I mentioned I’m incredibly impatient?
  5. Once they have cooled, you can peel them very easily with your hands. Just apply a little pressure with your thumbs and the skin should slip right off. This is how you end up with axe murderer beet-stained hands. Try not to touch anything you dont want to be pink for the rest of your natural-born life.
  6. Once peeled, cut off the root and stem ends. Cut the beets into wedges (quarters or thirds, depending on size). You want these things to fit in your mouth easily, not send juice running down your face. I realized the way that sounded after I typed it, but I will not fix it for you GUTTER MINDED HEATHENS. Stay with me here.
  7. Allow to cool completely or refrigerate. Some may like this salad at room temperature, but I personally prefer it cold and I’m right they’re wrong. This is my blog. Back off warm beet lovers.
  8. Zest your lemon and set the zest aside.
  9. Add the juice of half the lemon to a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify your dressing. Emulsify is a fancy word for violently whisking something while slowly adding oil to it so it doesnt separate. It’s a good way to develop less noodle-like forearms and also a really fun word to throw out to make people think you’re more experienced than you really are.
    • Note: Here’s the thing about dressing. It doesn’t come out the same every time. You’re going to have to rely on taste testing, Patience, grasshopper. You can do this. Extra tart lemon? More sugar. Too strong? More olive oil. Any time it doesn’t taste quite right, it usually needs a little salt. You’ll figure it out, just keep tasting, 
  10. Add a pinch of sugar, season the dressing to taste with kosher salt and black pepper and then add in those beautiful beets. Toss to coat.
  11. Crumble the cheese over the beets and mix. Boursin is notoriously soft and will fall apart, but it becomes a creamy delicious mess and no one will be mad about it, I promise.
  12. Garnish with lemon zest because you’re just so damn fancy.

A note on beet greens: If you throw them away I am gonna be so pissed. Chop them into inch-wide ribbons, and sauté in olive oil with a clove of garlic. They reduce to only a few bites but you’ll be fighting over them. I served my beet greens from this batch with my fried chicken dinner. Each bunch of beets provides enough greens for two. 

beets 2I’m not a food photographer and I was too hungry to bother staging this better, but you could really make it look fancy. I mean look at those colors.

This recipe is great because its easy. Make it ahead and people will think “Ooh so pretty!” and you’ll say “Yes, darling, I slaved away all afternoon.” Those judgmental biz-natches at your next party don’t need to know it took you ten minutes to throw together and your kitchen looks like a horror movie. You are fancy, you are interesting, and you can COOK. 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jordan B says:

    You had me at Boursin ❤

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s