19 March 2014

Roast Beets with Ricotta and Mint

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There is something about a beet that excites me.  Pretty sure it is that gorgeous color that just seeps right out of it -- literally.  The tops of beets are an amazing source of Vitamin A, while the roots are full of Vitamin C.  They are filled with loads of folic acid and fiber -- keep the ol' intestines running well and cholesterol on track. 

Organic beets will last about a week in the refrigerator and they should be firm.  They should be washed thoroughly and without breaking the skin.  When cooking the nutrients will leak out of the breaks.  The beautiful bright red pigment will stain, but a quick kitchen tip -- if any is stuck on your hands wash with a bit of salt.

I love the idea of roasting beets because they contain a lot of natural sugar, and putting them on a high heat lets the sugar concentrate bringing a ton of flavor.  That is why when I saw this Roast Beets with Ricotta and Mint recipe in Mr. Wilkinson's Vegetables: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Garden, I knew I had to add it to my home menu rotation.  

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The Shopping List:
  • 3 beets
  • Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • 6 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup ricotta, crumbled
  • 1 sprig of Mint leaves
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The Method:

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Rip a couple sheets of aluminum foil and fold them into an "x".  Place the beet in the middle and dizzle olive oil over top.  Sprinkle sea salt and ground pepper over top, moving around to coat evenly.  Wrap the aluminum foil snuggle so none of the juicy goodness can seep out while cooking.  

Place beets on a baking sheet and roast for an hour. When they come out, use a pick to test them, it should be soft and come out clean, although slighly red.

Use a knife to cut an "x" into the beet -- I sense a pattern going on in this recipe and x's -- and open the beet up.  Place it onto its serving plate and allow it to cool down a bit.  Drizzle the red wine vinegar over the beet, crumble the ricotta, and sprinkle the mint leaves over top.  Finish with a bit more sea salt and pepper to season.  

Enjoy!

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