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.
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