Beets are as delicious as they are nutritious, with a rich, hearty flavor perfect on its own or as an addition to salads. Roast them a day ahead, let them cool in their skins and then peel them when you’re ready to serve.
Here’s a creative vegetarian spin on classic beef carpaccio that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Vary the presentation to keep this seasonal star at the center of your fall and winter entertaining.
8 mixed Candy Cane, golden, red and/or white beets, mixed in any combination
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
5 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
1/2 cup vinaigrette of choice (optional)
Sea salt and ground pepper
1 Tbs. fresh mint, julienned
2 tsp. fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. fresh chervil leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim off beet greens if still attached, leaving 1/2 inch of stems intact. Place beets on top of a large piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Gather up edges of foil and seal tightly closed. Place foil packet on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and unwrap beets.
When cool enough to handle, rub beets between paper towels to remove the skins. Follow 1 variation (below) to cut and plate beets, always cutting darker beets last to avoid staining lighter ones. Once beets are cut and arranged, add goat cheese (if using). Add vinaigrette (if using) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with mint, tarragon and chervil and serve at once. Serves 4 to 6.
Stacks for individual servings: Slice beets 1/4 inch thick. Stack 8 or 9 beet slices on 3each plate, and add cheese, vinaigrette and garnishes.
Wedges for a party: Keeping stem intact, cut each beet into 6 to 8 wedges. Arrange on a platter and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with cocktail picks and salt.
Family-style platter: Slice beets 1/8 inch thick. Arrange slices in an overlapping pattern on a platter. Add vinaigrette and garnishes.
Cubes for starter salads: Cut beets into 1/2-inch dice and transfer to a bowl. Add cheese, vinaigrette and salt and pepper and toss to combine. Divide among plates or bowls and add garnishes.