Happy New Year Everyone!
I have owed my girlfriends this recipe since around Thanksgiving, and since it's also fairly healthy, it seemed like a good way to kick off the year. Really, it's very similar to the Roasted Beet Salad I posted last year. Basically, this version is just adds caramelized onions and serves it all on warm greens instead of a cold salad. Something about serving it warm with the sweetness of the caramelized onions makes it all feel more comforting and cozy. Perfect for the cold weather.
In some ways this is a non-recipe recipe, in that I usually don’t really pay to much attention to the quantities and I play around with the toppings and flavorings, often using whatever I have around. I roast however many beets I have and work with that. If the greens on the beets are in good condition, I use those, but if they don’t look good, I get some kale and I’m sure chard would work great as well. (If using the beet greens, just be sure to clean them really well. I find they can be pretty dirty.)
The beets can be made ahead of time if you’re planning on serving this for a dinner party. A word of warning, however—if you’re planning on prepping them in advance, use red beets instead of gold. I found out the hard way that gold beets can oxidize and Greg and I found ourselves cutting away the blackened outer layers of a dozen+ beets to carve out the still pristine interiors in advance of our guests arrival.
You can also jazz up the dish with any number of accoutrements. Lots of different types of cheese work well with this—goat, feta, blue. We took to using bucheron which is particularly nice since it has different textures. The interior crumbles nicely, while the softer, drippier exterior melts lusciously on the warm beets.
To add a little extra pizzazz and spike up the flavor, I like to drizzle a little something like an aged balsamic over the beets just before serving. If you have a fruit flavored vinegar that works well too. (I have a fig-flavored version that’s delicious.) As another alternative, I’ve been using arrope –it’s a grape concentrate that’s been reduced down to a syrup. It’s less acidic than vinegar, but has lovely caramelized flavors.
If I happen to have some nuts lying around, I might crush up a handful and throw those on top as well.
I think I’ve made the point that you can switch this recipe up any number of ways (and you'll notice a couple of different versions in the pictures), but I’ve put together this recipe as blueprint to work from. Feel free to stray.
Roasted Beets with Sautéed Greens, Caramelized Onions, and CheeseMakes approximately 8 servings.
Beets and OnionsBeets (However many you want to make. About 6 small to medium or 4-5 large are a good number for this, but you might want to make a bigger batch and save some for later.)
1 Large Onion, sliced into thin strips
Lemon or Orange Juice
Sautéed Beet GreensLarge bunch of Beet Greens (You can substitute Kale)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Lemon juice, to taste
To Finish6-8 oz of Bucheron Cheese, or other goat cheese, feta, or blue cheese
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
For the Beets with Onions:1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Toss beets in olive oil with a little salt.
3. Wrap the beets in tin foil and place the foil packet on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven.
4. Allow the beets to roast in the oven. After approximately 30-40 minutes check on the beets by unwrapping the foil packet and piercing a beet with a knife. They’re ready when a knife slides easily through the beet. Note that cooking time will vary depending on the size of the beets. Smaller beets might be ready after 40-50 minutes, but larger ones can take an hour or more.
5. Once ready, remove the beets from the oven, unwrap from the foil, and allow them to cool.
6. While the beets are cooling, toss the sliced onions lightly in olive oil with a pinch of salt.
7. Spread the onions out in a thin layer on a baking pan and place in the oven. Allow the onions to roast and lightly caramelize, tossing after ten minutes. If the onions begin to brown too quickly, add a small amount of water to and toss to slow the cooking. The onions are ready once lightly caramelized. (Approximately 15-20 minutes total.)
8. Once the beets are cool enough to touch (and while the onions are cooking), peel the beets using a pairing knife, or if the skins are loose enough, you may be able to pull of the skins by hand. (Beware that red beets will turn your hands bright magenta.) Once completely peeled, cut the beets into wedges.
9. Pull the pan of onions from the oven and add the beet wedges. Add a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice or orange juice, and toss together. Return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes. If using crushed nuts, sprinkle over the beets for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Once everything is warmed through, remove the pan from the oven.
10. If using balsamic or arrope, drizzle lightly over the beets. Taste and season if necessary.
For the Beet Greens:Prepare the beet greens while the onions and beets are roasting in the oven
1. Sauté garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat until tender and fragrant.
2. Add the beet greens to the pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper, lemon juice and a couple of tablespoons of water and toss together to combine. Raise the heat to medium-high and cover. Toss after five minutes and continue to cook uncovered until the liquid has evaporated. Once most of the liquid has evaporated and the leaves are dark green and tender, taste and adjust for seasoning. Remove from heat.
To Serve:1. Place a bed of greens on a large platter, draining off any excess liquid.
2. Spread the beets, onions, and nuts over the greens.
3. Dot the cheese over the platter and serve.