Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Balsamic Beets

We both like beets pretty well, Ryan more than I though. The same old same old veggies get... well... old after a while though so they are something I make occasionally to mix things up. I adore balsamic so I figured it would up my enjoyment, and it did! The sweetness and acidity of the vingegar really balanced the earthy beets nicely!
This was easy, though I ran out of time and had to peel tehm when they were still piping hot and definitely burned my fingers.

I used this recipe from William Sonoma. (I halved it, and could only find the regular red beets):

Most beet varieties are available in markets in late spring. Although the most common type sold is deep garnet-red, you’ll also find golden beets and even ones with concentric red and white stripes reminiscent of a candy cane. To insure freshness and tenderness, choose small or medium beets with their greens still attached. Remove the greens as soon as you get home, as they will leach moisture from the roots if stored intact over long periods. Garnish the dish with fresh parsley sprigs, if you like.

1 1/2 lb. red beets, with greens attached
1 1/2 lb. yellow beets, with greens attached
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Trim off the beet greens and reserve for another use. Wash the beets well but do not peel, and place in a shallow baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and water. Pour the mixture over the beets and toss to coat them completely. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the beets are tender when pierced with a skewer, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover and let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil until reduced by one-third, about 10 seconds. Remove from the heat.
Peel the beets by slipping off the skins, then cut them crosswise into thin slices. Place in a warmed serving bowl and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Season with salt and pepper, toss to coat and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Spring, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).

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