Musical pairing – Beat It by Cris Delanno
An Ode to Color – My favorite thing about beets is their color. Just sliced into, they reveal shocking jewel-bright shades of burgundy and topaz and saffron. Juiced, and they will turn a whole smoothie creamy pink. And roasted–wrapped in foil and slowly, intensely roasted– they simply can’t seem to restrain their bloody, passionate vibrancy. Juices start to leak through the seams in the foil, beads of dark ruby that collect on the roasting pan and shimmer and simmer there.
Beets may have an earthy flavor. They may be ugly ducklings, with dirty outer peels. They may be simultaneously humble and frustrating– what exactly do you do with a beet (other than make borscht…)? I think the answer to this lies in summer itself. Summer with its own triumphant color, its own parade of hues, its own revelry in brightly-tinted beauty. For there is no better time than on a hot summer day to get well-acquainted with beets at last, and transform this confounding, scrappy root into a cooling salad, and one that mirrors summer’s brilliancy to boot.
Not only does this salad from Vegetarian Times’ Farmers’ Market Cookbook include beautiful, well-roasted beets in their almost purple radiance, it also includes cheery, refreshing oranges–as well as a little olive oil, lemon juice, and all such things that just never go amiss in a summer salad. So get out your old cutting board, put on your thickest apron, and bring some more color into your life in honor of summer, in honor of color itself, or just in honor of plain old beets.
PERFECT ROASTED BEETS WITH ORANGE SLICES
Vegetarian Times, Farmer’s Market Summer 2011
- 4 medium beets
- 2 medium oranges
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400*F. Trim and scrub (but don’t peel) beets. Wrap each beet individually in foil. Place beets on baking sheet, and roast 40 minutes, or until tender enough to be pierced with knife. Cool until easy to handle.
- Grate 1/2 tsp zest from 1 orange; set zest aside. Trim ends away from both oranges, stand fruit upright, and remove peel and pith with knife. Hold fruit over bowl (to catch juice), and cut segments from membranes. Cut each segment in half, and place in separate bowl.
- Whisk together 2 tbsp orange juice (reserved from bowl), sherry vinegar, orange zest, lemon juice, and salt. Gradually whisk in olive oil.
- Peel beets by rubbing off skin under cold running water. Cut beets into 1-inch pieces, and add to bowl with orange segments. Top with orange-lemon vinaigrette, and toss well. Chill several hours, or up to 2 days.
Avery Olund-Smith is going into her sophomore year at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where’s she’s studying English. She’s from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts. She loves biking to Findlay Market and writing with the Cincinnati organization Women Writing for (a) Change, and considers food, writing, reading, and the beauties of both the city and the natural world amongst her passions.