Beets: you either love them or hate them. Or, like me, you were scared of them for a really, really long time and finally got over your irrational fear of their vibrant color and tried one or two… and decided that they are AWESOME. Beets are starchy (but not mushy), sweet, and have a very distinctive, earthy taste. They are also very nutritious, full of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Despite my new-found appreciation for beets, I had never cooked them… until recently! Last month, for a coworker’s baby shower, I decided to roast beets for a beet, blood orange, and mache salad with homemade vinaigrette. (It was really good, but I don’t have any photos unfortunately.) I found that even though roasting beets is super easy, it does takes a little bit of time. All you have to do is trim the greens off the top (about 1/2 inch), scrub the beets clean, put them on a pan with a splash of water, seal tightly with aluminum foil, and roast at 400F for one hour. Then let them cool (very important!) for about 20-30 minutes before you peel and cut them up. And VOILA! Tasty beets, right at your fingertips.
Since my first roasted beet experience was overwhelmingly positive, I decided to venture forth and make a roasted beet and corn salad. I got the idea for this combination from a Berkeley eatery that closed about 2 years ago (RIP, Bake Shop). They had great salads, and even though they served the beets and the roasted corn salad separately, I think I had both at one sitting and thought it was great. I did some research, and altered an online recipe to fit my tastes/preferences. Without further ado, here it is:
3-4 beets (about 1-1.5 lbs)
2 cups frozen corn (I used Trader Joe’s Organic Sweet Corn)
2 Tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
Juice from one lemon
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Roast beets, as described above. After cooling, peel and dice beets.
2. While beets are roasting or while they are cooling, roast the corn. Coat the frozen corn with olive oil, spread on a cookie sheet or roasting pan, and roast at 400F for 15-20 minutes.
3. When beets and corn have cooled to room temperature, combine them in a medium/large bowl with the parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, and shallot. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve room temperature or chilled.
As delicious as it is, roasted beet and corn salad does not a meal make. I had some sprigs of rosemary leftover from earlier in the week, so I co-opted the rosemary to make roasted potatoes. I like red creamer potatoes because they are tiny and cook quickly. Plus they are so cute!