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Author Notes: Beets go with so many different flavors that I've found them great fun to work with and have experimented with various recipes and techniques through the years. I particularly like them roasted and have tried numerous approaches finally landing on peeling them and cutting them into segments and then roasting in individual foil packets. This greatly speeds up the roasting process and results in some great juices that can be drizzled over the beets before serving. Using this technique, this recipe is one of my favorites for a first course / salad which, here, I've paired with some watercress and a twist on Alice Water's goat cheese rounds. —TheWimpyVegetarian
Serves 4 (but can be easily expanded)
Honey Roasted Beets and Mint Gremolata
- 4 large beets
- 4 tablespoons honey (I used orange blossom, but clover works fine too)
- 1 orange, cut into 4 slices
- 2 tablespoons minced mint leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
- zest from 1 orange
- pinch Maldon sea salt flakes when assembling the salad (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F. Peel each beet using a potato peeler and cut from top to bottom into 8 equal crescent shaped segments. Place each sliced beet (of 8 segments) in an individual foil packet and pour 1 Tablespoon honey on each beet packet. Squeeze the orange juice from 1/4 of an orange onto each packet , sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and toss with a spoon before sealing. I always double wrap in foil. Bake for about an hour. I recommend checking on them after 45 minutes and tossing them in the honey/orange/beet juice before resealing the packets to complete roasting. When the beets are done and ready to be served, pour the juices from the packets over the beets to coat them. If the juices are too liquidy, reduce in a pot over medium heat until the juices gain the consistency of a glaze.
- While the beets are roasting, make the baked goat cheese rounds (recipe below) and the gremolata. To make the gremolata, mix the minced mint leaves, garlic, salt and orange zest together and set aside.
Baked Mint, Garlic and Fennel Chevre Rounds
- 4 ounces chevre
- 1 1/2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon minced mint leaves (about 6 small leaves)
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, smashed and ground using a mortar and pestle
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- zest from 1/2 large orange
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1/8 cup breadcrumbs, preferably fresh
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Comine all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix well with a fork to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Form into 4 small circular discs about 1/2" thick.
- Place the rounds in the olive oil for 30 minutes, turning once after 15 minutes. Coat with bread crumbs, place on a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake until hot and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
- Remove with a spatula and assemble the salad using watercress greens dressed lightly with olive oil and red wine vinegar as the base. This is also great without any greens. When assembling, I top the beets with a pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes along with the chevre round and gremolata.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Beets