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March 23, 2010

And now for something completely unpolitical: beets

OK, OK, you want nothing but food. I offer a favorite recipe.

It happens to involve beets, but any resemblance to topical subjects, including presidential root-vegetable bias, is purely coincidental.

I used to have the same opinion of beets as a certain world leader who shall not be named here. As a kid, my big sister got me to try one of the pickled purple discs.

"It's a cookie," she said.

It was not a cookie.

And I wanted nothing to do with them until I was in my 40s, in Whole Foods and in front of Donald, the cheese guy in Harbor East. He was serving up little tastes of a salad made with beets, oranges, fennel, hazelnuts and goat cheese feta. Unlike big sister, Donald had never steered me wrong. So I gave his salad a try. Yum!

I went straight back to the produce section and made my first-ever beet purchase. I even grow my own beets these days just so I can make this salad.

The recipe:

Red and Golden Beets with Orange, Fennel, Hazelnuts and Goat Feta Cheese

2 large yellow beets (all but 1 inch of top removed; leave tail)

2 large red beets

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 Mineola or navel oranges

1 fennel bulb, cut into paper-thin slices

1/4 cup fresh mint and Italian parsley, finely chopped

1/4 cup hazelnuts, halved

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and white pepper to taste

1 1/4 cups crumbled goat milk feta or goat cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees and place olive-oil rubbed beets in tin foil. Roast until tender (about 90 minutes). When beets are cool, peel and cut into 1/2 inch-cubes. Place in a large bowl, separating colors. (May be done a day ahead. Store refrigerated.)

Bring beets to room temperature. Peel and segment oranges, removing membranes. Collect any juice that runs out. Add fennel, mint, parsley, hazelnuts, shallots and 1 cup of orange segments in the bowl with the beets. Place 2 teaspoons of orange juice in a small bowl and whisk vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to make dressing. Add to beets and stir. Top with orange segments and sprinkle with cheese.

Recipe credit: Whole Foods

Photo by math-hubby


Posted by Laura Vozzella at 12:01 PM | | Comments (10)


OK, OK, you want nothing but food. I offer a favorite recipe.

Well, it's hardly an either-or dichotomous option, dear.

Just, you know -- balance.

When roasting beets I find it much easier to peel and cube the beats beforehand. The juice tends to stain less and it cuts baking time down to about 20 - 30 mins depending on the size of your cubes.

Beets are DEFINITELY dreamy.

I'm vote for the party that had a pro-beets plank on their platform...

Miss Kittens... the fickle finger of fate has touched you, I think?

Beet's are nature's candy, don't you know.

Coarse grate raw beets and carrots then toss together. Dress with Thousand Island and serve over mixed lettuce. The more you chew, the sweeter it gets!

I don't even believe you're in your forties. That's just bragging.

The Pickled Beets on the Baja Tacos at Miguel's Cantina in Silo Point are great!

Crush has a beets appetizer on their menu that is terrific, and a little similar to this recipe as I recall. It's been a while since I've been there, but I remember loving it.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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