Saturday, June 4, 2011

Roasted Beet & Tomato Salad

Although I love, love, love my weekly fruit & vegetable deliveries from Plow to Porch, I have to admit, sometimes I am frightened. The husband and I grew up in pretty traditional households where vegetables were usually corn, green beans, peas and maybe an iceberg lettuce "salad." I was lucky enough to live in central California, so I also got some yummy asparagus and artichokes from time to time. Not very adventurous. So when I first saw beets on the delivery list, I was scared. The first appearance of beets happened to coincide with a visit to my dad & stepmom up in SLO. They hadn't seen me in a while and I had lost a ton of weight in that time, so they were curious to hear about this fruit & vegetable delivery service that was encouraging me to try new things and focus more on fruits & veggies (since that was pretty much how I lost all the weight!). As I was telling them all about it, I mentioned that I was really nervous about the beets in the next week. I kid you not, both dad and stepmom, like 6 year olds, preceded to "eeewww" and "you are kidding, throw them out" in ridiculous ways. No freakin' wonder I have fears of certain vegetables! I'm pretty sure I ended up throwing away that first batch of beets out of not having a clue what to do with them, but soon enough, I was roasting them up in foil packets with a little bit of olive oil, adding them to salads. I actually really like them, and after the first time I made them, the husband admitted that they had them all the time when he was growing up (so weird to me, he is such a traditional midwesterner, I had no idea they ate beets!). Eventually, my husband admitted that he wouldn't mind having a salad that was entirely beet focused. I researched on the internet and found that the most common ingredient in a beet salad is (well, other than beets) goat cheese. Well... we're not fans (I know, take away my foodie license or whatever). I also saw that many like the flavor of balsamic vinegar and beets. That gave me the idea for this salad. Very simple roasted beets, chilled, with chopped ripe heirloom tomatoes and a light dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. This was so delicious, and it might sound strange, but we get soooo many tomatoes with Plow to Porch in the summer that I'm really excited for another way to use them up. The husband doesn't love balsamic vinegar like I do (what, doesn't everyone want to drink it?), but he really liked this as well, even though I "poured a bunch of that weird brown stuff on there." By all means, go ahead and add goat cheese if you want. I might add some feta next time for some creamy texture. But don't fear the beets!

Balsamic Roasted Beets and Tomato Salad (my own creation)

4-5 small beets, tops and bottoms trimmed off (I used golden here, but all sorts of beets would work, I think)

1 large heirloom tomato

olive oil (about 3 Tbs)

Balsamic Vinegar (about 1-2 Tbs)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place trimmed, unskinned beets in foil packet. Drizzle with olive oil before folding the packet closed (I leave a little bit of air inside the packet to circulate). Place in heated oven for about 45 minutes or until beets are soft and skins come off easily. Allow to cool completely before removing skins. Chop into wedges or bitesize pieces. Refridgerate about 1 hour until chilled. Chop tomato into bitesize pieces. Mix tomato & beets in small bowl. Toss with approx even amounts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar or to your own tastes. Tomatoes and beets should absorb most of the dressing and there shouldn't be much pooling inside the bowl. Top with salt & pepper to taste and serve. Makes two servings.

1 comment:

  1. I love trying new fruits and vegetables - it's like an adventure for my mouth!