It’s beet season! Honestly, as a root vegetable, beets are almost always in season, but supposedly they are at their best from June to October, so get on it.
My dad and I procured some lovely beets from our local small town farmer’s market recently and decided to pickle them. It was a good decision. In my opinion sweet vegetables, like sweet potatoes and acorn squash and (duh) beets, are made to be eaten with goat cheese. Something about the earthy sweetness of the vegetables with the creamy, salty tang of goat cheese is just so right. So, I whipped some goat cheese up with herbs and cream until it was spreadable and made a “napoleon” (a French layered dish…usually a dessert) with thin-sliced fresh onions and some of the pickled beets.
This combination packs a tangy punch, but I happen to like that kind of thing. After I dropped what was on the fork in the picture below on the left, I found out Murdock likes that kind of thing too.
Here’s the recipe I used to pickle the beets:
(adapted from this recipe)
4-5 medium beets
1 onion, sliced
1 cup tarragon vinegar
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
Coat beets in olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted with a bit of resistance. (It won’t feel like a baked potato when it’s done, it will be quite a bit firmer.) Allow beets to rest until they are cool enough to handle.
Remove skins from beets and slice. Arrange in clean glass jars (I ended up with two full jars) alternating layers with sliced onion.
Combine vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil. Pour over beets and put the lids on while the liquid is still warm. Allow jars to cool for a few minutes on the counter, then move to the fridge for 3-7 days before eating. The longer they sit, the stronger they get. They will last at least 3 weeks in the fridge.
Now here is a “recipe” for the goat cheese:
one of those little logs of goat cheese (4 oz or 6 oz…can’t remember/doesn’t matter)
1/4-1/2 cup of cream or half and half, depending on how spready you want it
1-2 tablespoons of fresh herbs, minced (i used chives, dill, and basil)
salt and pepper
Mix until smooth, then eat.
In my opinion, this would make a lovely appetizer or, if you deconstructed it and threw it on top of some greens, a very fine salad. Serve it with toasted, crusty bread and hello lunch.