Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Roasted Baby Beets with Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic & Thyme!



Only two days until... wait for it... I travel to Floyd, Virginia!

Alright, that might not exactly be breaking news, but I'm excited to spend the holidays with my parents, even if I'm going to be Adorable Monster-less (he's going to our wonderful dog sitter's house).  So that means that I'll be eating and cooking in residence again in Virgina.  Should be a blast!

In the meantime, I want to keep bringing you holiday recipe ideas, and today we're focusing on beets!  These little suckers have been popping up in great big bunches all over my farmers market.  My fridge is packed full of then, in all sizes.  Tis the season to eat beets (sorry Obama!)!

Not only are these babies nutritional powerhouses (they contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer), but they're delicious eaten raw or roasted up in your oven. They also come in an array of colors from white to golden to beet red, and their greens are edible, too!

This recipe is a snap to make, and the combination of flavors from the balsamic, garlic and thyme make this a stunning and satiating dish!  I used both golden and red beets, but any type will do.  These roasted beets work great as a stand alone side dish, perfect for holiday entertaining, or stir them into risotto for a bloody colored, bloody good feast (click here for my recipe for Roasted Beet Risotto).

Roasted Beets with Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic & Thyme
Serves 3-4 people

1/2 lb of beets, tops removed (baby beets don't need to be peeled)
4 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, smashed with skin on
salt & pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Halve the larger beets to make them all about the same size for even cooking.  The smaller ones can be cooked whole.

On a big piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper, place the beets and the smashed garlic cloves.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Wrap up the aluminum foil to enclose the beets, or fold up the parchment paper to make a sealed packet. Place the packet on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 40-60 minutes, or until the beets are fork tender.

To serve, they're beautiful right in the packet, or they can be spooned into a bowl, or if you're feeling extra fancy, stirred into risotto.  Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients:

organic baby beets, organic garlic, Mission olive oil, organic thyme from Hollywood Farmers Market

Villa Manodori organic balsamic vinegar from Amazon

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