Thursday, January 15, 2015

Recipe #46: Balsamic, Olive Oil & Basil Roasted Beets with Kalamata Olives, Walnuts & Feta

I LOVE BEETS!!!  Do you?  If you said no, you are most likely with the majority, and quite frankly, you're brave for even viewing this.  I remember having my late husband try these beets before I put everything else with'd think I was feeding him gasoline.  But, if you're on my side, you will LOVE this recipe.  Many beet salads have goat cheese in them, along with being on a bed of greens, and sometimes they are accompanied by toasted hazelnuts rather than walnuts, which I think is better in the fall anyway.  This salad will hold for a few days in the frig, as there are no greens involved, but you can put them on a bed of greens to serve.  The picture below looks somewhat dull, but this is shot with the prepared salad simply in a bowl.  You can deviate from this recipe and add what you like, although my rule of thumb is always to try something as the recipe states the first time around.  If you don't want to start with fresh beets, you can always buy beets already peeled and simply takes a lot less time, and the spattering of beet juice isn't as bad.   You can buy them at Trader Joe's and Costco.   If using fresh beets, follow directions for microwaving.  As a last resort, use canned.  I don't know how many of my friends at work I gave this recipe to, only to have them ask me to bring these beets for a special occasion.  My response always was..."why don't YOU make them, you have the recipe!"

2 1/2-3 lbs roasted beets, cut into 1" cubes                   1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil                                                                  1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt                                                                               15 kalamata olives, quartered
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped                                                1/3 cup crumbled feta
1-2 tsp dried basil, crushed between
    your fingers

Heat oven to 400.  In a large bowl, whisk balsamic, olive oil, sugar, basil and salt.  Taste.  The mixture should be sweet/sour.  Adjust seasonings.  Put beets in bowl and mix thoroughly.  Prepare large cookie sheet with sides with a piece of parchment paper.  Using a large slotted spoon, remove beets from bowl to cookie sheet.  Reserve balsamic liquid.  Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and using a large spoon or pancake turner, flip beets so they are re-glazed.  Bake for another 10 minutes then check to see if liquid has evaporated.  You will probably bake for yet another 10 minutes at this point until they are just about candied.  Remove beets and place back in bowl with balsamic liquid.  Stir and let cool for about 30 minutes.  At this point, if there is a lot of liquid, drain most of it.  Add remainder of ingredients and mix well.  Feta will eventually turn pink due to the beets.  Serve this salad cold or at room temp.  Bon appetit!

You can see the walnuts, kalamata olives and chunks of feta...

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