Thursday, May 24, 2012

Roasted Baby Beets

Beets don't usually receive many popularity votes in the vegetable world.  Chef Tyler Brown of the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville could very well change someone's opinion after they taste these baby beets.
I was only able to find golden beets in the baby variety.  The dish would be extra attractive with a combination of the golden and deep purple babies.  But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what color these tasty little tidbits are; they're just darn good.

This is all you need for this easy to prepare side dish

After cleaning and trimming the tops and bottoms of the beets place them in a baking dish.  Dot the beets with the butter, pour your liquid mixture over it all, toss the herbs in and cover tightly with foil.

You'll bake these for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.

The beets get a little sauté, then the reserved pan juices are added and will thicken up nicely.

Garnish with a little chopped parsley, chopped roasted hazelnuts & crumbled ricotta salata cheese.  Brilliant.

I nicked a bite of beet directly out of the oven and the broth mixture they cooked in flavored them so nicely.  I could have eaten them straight from the baking dish.

Roasted Baby Beets
Adapted from Southern Living recipe by Chef Tyler Brown - Oct. 2011
Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds baby beets
4 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
1 cup vegetable broth - I made from Knorr broth cubes
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3 fresh thyme sprigs
3 fresh parsley sprigs
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Toppings:  chopped roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped fresh parsley, crumbled ricotta salata cheese

Mise en place:
  • if using for topping, roast hazelnuts in oven and let cool completely, then roughly chop
  • remove tops and ends of beets; wash beets
  • make vegetable broth
  • measure out honey
  • measure out vinegar
  • wash and dry herbs
  • cut up butter
  • measure out olive oil into large skillet
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place cleaned beets in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.  dot with butter.  Stir together broth and next 6 ingredients; pour over beets.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender.  Remove beets, reserving 1/4 cup of the pan juices.  Cool beets for about 15 minutes;  peel and quarter (note:  the baby golden beets did not need peeling).

Cook beets in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned.  Pour reserved pan juices over beets; increase heat to medium-high.  Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 1 Tbsp.

Serve with desired toppings.

Ingredient information:  Ricotta salata is made from fresh Ricotta that has been pressed, salted and aged for about 3 months.  It's dryness, saltiness and the way it crumbles reminds me of an Italian version of Feta

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