I bought a few beets on a whim at the grocery store a while back because although I like beets, they’re rarely something I think about cooking. It’s been a while since I’ve lived in a former Soviet republic where beets are used more often in daily cuisine, and I felt inspired by nostalgia to use them this week for Vegnesday. Unfortunately, my first thought was to make a Russian vinaigrette salad (follow that link if you don’t know what that is – you’ll thank me if you try it!) but I didn’t have any potatoes on hand. I did have feta cheese, lemon juice, and parsley, though, so voila! Dinner is served.
Beets are delicious, but working with them can admittedly stain your hands a deep purple if you’re not careful. The trick is just to wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you’re done handling them. People more prepared than I may also have rubber or latex gloves on hand, which would do the trick. Alternatively, you can embrace it and have people look at your hands uncomfortably throughout the next day because they think you may have murdered someone. Also fun!
This recipe is super quick if you pre-roast the beets and have them lying around and ready to go. It’s somewhat less off-the-cuff if you start from scratch because it takes about an hour to roast them through, but you can speed that up by cutting them into cubes first, tossing them with oil, salt, and pepper, and roasting them for about half an hour.
- 3 beets
- Olive oil to coat
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (separate from above)
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Parsley for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Wash the beets, coat them lightly with oil, wrap them in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45 to 60 minutes. They should be easy to pierce deeply with a fork or sharp knife when they’re done.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and then peel and dice into cubes.
- Toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix with crumbled feta and top with a sprig of parsley. Enjoy immediately!
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