I’m fairly certain that beets are the new black. People used to fear the beet, or so it seems. They’d wrinkle their noses when ordering a Greek salad in one of my family’s restaurants and proclaim, “Hold the beets.” Those who’d never tried a beet wouldn’t even consider giving it a shot. And, I’m pretty sure a large percentage of people wouldn’t be able to identify a raw beet if they saw one.
But it seems the fear of the beet has lessened significantly, and lately, they’ve been popping up everywhere–in magazines, food blogs, cooking shows, healthy eating lists. In fact, I’m pretty sure every restaurant I have gone to in the last year has had some sort of roasted beet appetizer on the menu. Roasted beet and goat cheese salads are the new(ish) thing. And you know what? More often than not, I’ll order one. I, for one, have always loved the beet. And coupled with goat cheese? I’m on it. Is this salad so popular that it could one day end up on one of Anthony Bourdain’s overrated menus?
I don’t think so. It’s too unfussy, too pure. It’s simplicity at its finest, and its tastiest.
So, of course, that’s what I decided to do with the beets I bought on sale last week.
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
3 large red beets
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
parsley or other fresh herbs, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425. Wrap each beat individually in aluminum foil. Roast the beets on the middle rack until tender, about an hour to an hour and a half. Once cool enough to handle, peel the beet and dice it.
Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Let it stand for a bit for the flavors to marry. Pluck out the garlic clove and then toss the diced beets with the mixture.
Top with goat cheese, pine nuts, and parsley.