ROASTED RED and GOLDEN BEETS with BASIL
A Bird in the Oven and Then Some
by Mindy Fox
Oh, it makes me sad to hear people say they "hate" beets. Beets are candy-sweet, gorgeous deliciousness. The matter of liking them is often more a matter of understanding how to prepare them, than anything else. Using both red and golden beets brings added color to the table, but you can make this dish with a single variety, depending on your whim or what's available.
Serves 4 to 6
• 2 pounds red and golden beets (about 8 medium), trimmed, leaving about 1/2 inch of the stem
• 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• Flakey coarse sea salt
• Freshly coarsely ground black pepper
• Pinch sugar, optional
• 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• Leaves from 1 small bunch fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 400° F
Put the beets in a baking dish and add water to come up about 1/2 inch. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and roast the beets until they can be easily pierced through to the center with a knife or skewer, 45 minutes to 1 hour or more, depending on size. Uncover and allow the beets to cool.
Trim and discard the beet tops and tails, then peel the beets. Cut the red beets into halves, quarters, or sixths, depending on their size, and transfer to a bowl. Do the same with the orange beets, putting them into a separate bowl (otherwise the colors will bleed). Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to each bowl and a generous pinch salt and pepper If the beets are at all bitter, add a pinch of sugar. Toss to combine. Let the beets absorb the vinegar for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons vinegar and the oil. Transfer the beets to plates and spoon the dressing over the top. Arrange the basil leaves on the plates. Season generously with salt.