Today I harvested beets. Now that the sun is shining during the day, the beets (which I planted in November) are finally growing. The beet greens are winning the slug battle, and the beets themselves were popping out of the top of the dirt when I checked them this morning. So I pulled up about 10 of the biggest ones and we had a garden dinner with our neighbor.
The recipe was kind of thrown together with what we had in the fridge, but it ended up being delicious. Hubbs roasted the beets on the grill, and we piled it on garden lettuce, with goat cheese, home-canned mandarin oranges, grilled chicken, sugared pecans, avocado and a balsamic vinaigrette. Mmmm… My mouth is watering just remembering it.
I (well, hubbs) had never bbq-ed beets before, but it was super easy and grilling them really did bring out the earthy flavor. I think that might be my favorite part about all the things that come from the garden, and beets particularly – the terroir. I love that they all taste a little like dirt. Not too much like dirt, they all taste delicious of course, but they all taste like they grew outdoors, and not in some sterile growing material in a vegetable factory. Before I was a gardener I totally underestimated the satisfaction that comes from eating food that grew in the backyard.
Here’s the recipe for the grilled beets.
Grilled Beet Salad – serves 4
- 6 cups lettuce
- 10 small-med grilled beets (see link above)
- 2 grilled chicken thighs, sliced
- 3/4 c citrus (Mandarin oranges, grapefruit or orange sections. Even better if the citrus is slightly bitter)
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 1/2 cup sugared pecans
Layer ingredients in salad bowl and top with vinaigrette
- 2 T honey or sugar
- 1 t dry mustard
- 2 T Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 t chopped rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 T olive oil
Mix 1st 4 ingredients in a small jar. Shake well to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Taste to make sure flavors are balanced (If it tastes too sweet, salty or sour, add more vinegar, salt, or sugar so that all flavors taste equally strong) add the oil and shake well to combine.