When I was a little girl, my grandmother always kept a jar of pickled beets in her fridge. I was fascinated — my mother doesn’t like beets, so for me, these cold, vividly pink slices were amazing, like nothing I had ever eaten. Beets to me have always tasted like the earth, like the pure essence of the soil and the air and the sunshine they grew in.
Now, I don’t keep pickled beets in my fridge, but I have retained my love for the root vegetable. Beets in my house come fresh, then are roasted and either eaten by the slice without any adornment but salt or marinated with salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Once that simple salad is made, I’ll eat it with (or as) lunch for the next several days.
I got the idea to pair balsamic vinegar with beets from Nom Nom Paleo, but I have to confess I didn’t read her recipe very well and just kind of went off on my own. Feel free to play with this salad as much as you like; it’s awesome with some goat cheese and mixed with quinoa, for instance, if you eat grains.
Pick good beets with bright green, healthy-looking tops for another recipe — I’ll post one later this week.
- 6 beets, washed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Trim the beets by chopping off the bottoms and the tops; reserve greens for another recipe, if desired.
- Wrap beets in aluminum foil packets, three to a packet. Place in oven directly on the rack.
- Let roast (or steam, actually) for an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the size of your beets.
- Remove from oven when they are easily pierced with a fork. Let cool, then peel.
- Dice roasted beets, and toss in bowl with remaining ingredients. Enjoy.