This is my take on a beet recipe from Gourmet magazine a few years back. The original called for the cumin and mint, but I have played with the original ratios and added the nuts, cheese and zest. This is a simple dish to throw together, and is loved by everyone in the family. It is also excellent with shaved ricotta salata on top instead of the goat cheese. - OuiChef —Oui, Chef
Test Kitchen Notes
Testing OuiChef’s recipe was an enlightening exercise in how to play around with flavors and textures, and the end product offers a rich bounty of sensory rewards. The soft yielding beets are contrasted by the crunch of the toasted pistachios and the accentuated sweetness of the roasted beets requires the combined strength of tart lemon, tangy goat cheese and the vibrant mint to contrast and complement it. This is a lovely gustatory pairing, that plays on the changing seasons; the smoky autumnal cumin-scented beets are paired with wisps of light summery mint and lemon zest. - Panfusine —Panfusine
1 1/2 tablespoons
fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons
cumin seeds, pan toasted and lightly crushed
4 medium or 2 large beets (1 1/2 pounds), cleaned and trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
fresh mint, cut into chiffonade
raw pistachios, pan toasted and roughly chopped
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
Zest the lemon and reserve the zest for service. Stir together lemon juice, toasted/crushed cumin seeds, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk in oil and let stand while roasting beets.
Tightly wrap beets in a double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. If using 2 large beets, cut them in half, and place them cut side up in the foil wrap. Let the beets cool enough to be able to handle in the foil package, about 15 minutes.
When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, discarding stems and root ends, then cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges, or dice them, as you prefer.
Toss warm beets with dressing. Stir in mint and pistachios just before serving. When plating, top with lemon zest and crumbled goat cheese or ricotta salata.
I am a father of five, who recently completed a two year professional hiatus during which I indulged my long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts and immerse myself in all things French. I earned “Le Grande Diplome” from Le Cordon Bleu, studied also at The Ritz Escoffier and Lenotre cooking schools, and completed the course offerings of the Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin.
About six months ago started "Oui, Chef", which is a food blog that exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my children a few things about cooking, and how our food choices over time effect not only our own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences through the blog, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals as a family, passing on established familial food traditions, and perhaps starting some new ones.