Husband is out of town this weekend.
For some gals, that might mean partying it up with their girlfriends, staying out until all hours and drinking too much tequila.
For me, on the other hand, it means making beets. Lots and lots of beets.
Husband hates ‘em. Won’t touch those glorious red little root veggies with a ten-foot pole. I adore them. Can’t get enough of them. I’ll eat ‘em till my pee turns pink.
Too much information? Okay, moving on.
If you love beets as much as I do, make this lovely minted beet salad with sweet clementines and tangy chevre.
Start off with some beets. 5 or 6 medium-sized. Or less if you have no self control and don’t want your pee to turn pink.
Next, grab 4 or 5 clementines. Or satsumas. Or mandarins. Whatever your grocer has at the moment. Clementines tend to be a bit sweeter. Plus it’s fun to say.
And it’s the name of a character in one of my favorite movies of all time. You win ten points and a cupcake if you can identify it.
You’ll also need lots of salt. Kosher, please. Or rock salt, if you have that on hand.
Fresh mint. Oh, it smells so good. 3 or 4 sprigs, please, washed and dried.
Chevre. Oh, chevre. It’s like a creamier version of goat cheese. Just grab regular ol’ goat cheese if you can’t find chevre.
You’ll also need olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper for seasoning. Those ingredients are just boring to photograph. It’s like they don’t even try to be photogenic.
Begin by preheating your oven to 400°. Pour about 1/4″ of salt into the bottom of a roasting pan.
Wash and dry the beets, and then place in the roasting pan on top of the salt.
Cover with foil and roast in the oven for about 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, grab a bowl and dump in two tablespoons of olive oil…
…and two tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Whisk to combine.
Tear up the mint leaves and add them to the oil/vinegar mixture. Tearing releases more minty flavor than chopping.
Don’t ask me why. I don’t make the rules.
Peel those loverly clementines. You should probably pop a few in your mouth, just to make sure they aren’t poisonous.
Squeeze about half of the clementines before you add them to the dressing. We want a little bit of that juice in there for flavor.
Mash the mixture up a little bit with a wisk.
Now, throw in the rest of the clementines, stir, cover and refrigerate until we’re ready to use it (or up to overnight–just depends on how long you’ve got and how minty you want the dressing to be).
How are the beets coming? Pull ‘em out of the oven, carefully pull them out of the pan and let them cool for a bit. Now stare at your roasting pan full of pink salt and wonder if there’s something cool you could do with it.
Nothing? Me neither. Moving on.
Once the beets have cooled enough to be handles, peel those suckers. If they’ve been roasted long enough, the skin should come off quite easily just by using your fingers.
Oh, and be warned: don’t set the beets on any surface that you care about. Don’t use your favorite cutting board for this task, ladies and gents. They tend to stain.
And don’t fret. Your hands will no longer be pink by tomorrow.
Hack off the roots and the tips, and slice the rest into 1/4″ rounds. I love the circular pattern inside beets. Love it.
Now here’s where you can get creative. You can either:
a) plate the beets and spoon the dressing on top.
b) add the beets to the dressing and stir it all around (warning: everything will turn pink).
I chose option a because it’s purdy. And don’t forget to sprinkle a little bit of the chevre on top. It adds pretty contrast and lends lots o flavor.
Let’s take a moment.
I love this salad. It’s full of rich winter flavors. Beets, although always tasty, are given a little more bite from the salt roasting. The clementines and mint are a nice refreshing contrast to the richness of the beets, and the chevre tops it all off with a tiny bit of tang.
I plated a few, and then tossed the rest in with the remaining dressing. Can you see the cheese? Nope. I can’t either. It’s because it’s pink.
I hope my husband make it home from his trip safely. The evidence looks pretty damning otherwise.
Have a safe, happy, beet-stained weekend!
Salt Roasted Beets with Clementines and Chevre
- 5-6 medium beets, washed and dried
- 4-5 clementine oranges, peeled and pieces separated
- 4 sprigs fresh mint, washed, dried and leaves removed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 oz chevre cheese (or goat cheese)
- enough kosher salt to coat bottom 1/4″ of small roasting pan
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°. Pour 1/4″ of kosher salt into bottom of roasting pan. Arrange beets on top of salt, cover with foil, and roast for 90 minutes.
Whisk together olive oil and vinegar in bowl to combine. Tear mint leaves into small pieces and stir in. Squeeze half of the orange slices into bowl before adding, then add all of the orange slices and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove beets from salt and let cool. Peel, remove stems and tips, and slice into 1/4″ rounds. Plate beets and spoon dressing on top. Crumble chevre on top.