We had our neighbors over for dinner on Sunday. They're a lot of fun. By that I mean that they like to imbibe just as much as we do (and they're really nice, thoughtful guys). We've been known to get sucked into the vortex of their porch, where wine is poured freely and in great quantity. A quick hello turns into a three hour gossip session.
When we lived in South Boston, we knew our neighbors but we didn't have a close relationship with any of them. Most of them were pleasant. Others, not so much.
To be perfectly honest, I didn't think much about the whole neighbor thing until we'd been here for a few weeks and got to meet everyone. We live on a smaller, dead end street. Everyone's been here for a number of years. Many grew up on the street, which I think says a lot about the area. They all look out for one another, helping with yard work or cleaning the gutters or shoveling. It's all very sweet, in a Pleasantville kind of way. (Except this is Massachusetts... where everyone has a bit of an edge)
Well, I got off track a bit. Our neighbors. Dinner. Sunday. They came over (at 4, because I know our track record and figured it'd be best to start our martini consumption early). Eric smoked a duck on the grill, I made the sides. One of those sides was this roasted beet dish, which our guests enjoyed immensely. In fact, I knew these two were good people when one of them said, "Oh, are these beets? I love beets!" I hear so much from the naysayers (They taste like dirt! Beets? Gross!) that I was thrilled to have a fan in our midst.
Za'atar Roasted Beets with Honeyed Yogurt, Orange and Pistachio
Servings: 4-6 as a side
Ingredients 6 medium-sized beets, trimmed, peeled and quartered (if larger, cut into smaller pieces) Olive oil Kosher salt 1 tablespoon za'atar, plus more for plating 1 naval orange, segmented 3 tablespoons full fat Greek yogurt 2 teaspoons honey 1 tablespoon chopped unsalted pistachios Black sesame seeds, optional Parsley leaves
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Add the cut beets to the pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with Kosher salt and the za'atar. Roast beets for 40 minutes, checking on them every 10-15 minutes and giving them a flip to ensure even cooking. Once they're done, remove from oven and let cool slightly. They can be served warm or at room temperature.
2. Whisk together the Greek yogurt and honey. Spoon onto a serving platter. Add the cooked beets to the plate, along with the segmented orange.
3. Sprinkle pistachios on top of the beets, followed by a little more za'atar, black sesame seeds, and fresh parsley.