We all meet people in our lives who influence for good or for bad. One old friend of mine, in particular, really helped shaped my food views and preferences. It is because of her that I eschew store-bought canned beets. Why, oh why would anyone waste their taste buds on the mushy bland beets found on most grocery store shelves? Last night I scored some beet beauties from another friend’s local garden. Tonight I’m going to roast them with sherry vinegar, making them deeply earthy sweet and tart.
Preheat your oven to 400°. Trim their tops (reserve tops for another recipe), scrub them but do not remove the skin. Then place them into a cazuela and drizzle about a cup of sherry vinegar over them.Cover with foil and place in the oven. After at least an hour, poke them with a fork to see if they are tender. Don’t be surprised if they need another half and hour or so. At this point, it’s a good idea to turn them over so that a different side sits in the sherry vinegar at the bottom of the cazuela. Once tender, let them cool down to room temp. Their skins will slip off easily enough.
You can save some of the left over juices, add some star anise and sugar, then reduce it. Or you can slice them up, add salt and pepper, drizzle with a good olive oil and serve. I love these roasted beets sliced up atop arugula, spiced sweet pecans, and a blue cheese!
Trust me, once you have beets you’ve roasted yourself, there will be no going back.