I know it’s hard to find creative ways to prepare vegetables, which is part of the reason that I’ve been featuring a lot of vegetarian recipes recently. And to come up with a dish that can not only act as a delicious side, but that can be presented as an entree as well, is an even greater challenge.
Eric and I picked up these beautiful beets from the Enterprise Farm produce stand a few weeks ago when we attended a breakfast that they were hosting. Despite having a refrigerator full of wonderful fruits and vegetables at home, we just couldn’t help ourselves. We’re both suckers for beets.
My immediate thought was to roast them, but, again, I wanted to do something a little different. Instead, I poked around the Internet and came across this simple preparation for pickled beets.
What I really love about this recipe was how the addition of a few ingredients (the feta and onions) really elevates the dish. In fact, we made this for lunch one weekend afternoon and found it quite substantial.
Pickled Beets with Feta
(from Kitchen Window – NPR)
makes 6 servings
4 large beets, trimmed, peeled and cut into rounds, or 1 (15-ounce) can
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped mint
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rounds
6 cups arugula, watercress or spinach
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
If using raw beets, trim greens from beets, but do not peel or cut into beet itself to minimize bleeding. Cover whole beets with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer beets to an ice bath to stop cooking. For canned beets, simply drain well.
In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, allspice, salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 cup of the mint. Place onion in a bowl, coat with some of the vinaigrette and allow to sit for 15 minutes to soften the onion’s bite.
Just before serving, toss all ingredients together in a bowl.