As with many meals around here, this dish came about because I had something in the fridge that I needed to use up - in this case, buttermilk. I was flipping through the Cafe Flora cookbook and came across a recipe for Buttermilk, Goat Cheese and Dill dressing which they mentioned was good on their roasted beets.
We may be a weird household but we really love beets. I love them hot, cold - even canned (on spinach salad). I know it's one of those vegetables that a lot of people hate - or *think* they hate. Because a lot of people when pressed will admit they've never actually tried them. I've posted before about my favorite recipe to convert beet haters and it's still a favorite. But this one is definitely a close second. It involves roasting the beets twice - once wrapped in foil to cook them through and then a second time cut into wedges and gently tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The dressing goes together in a minute, super easy - but I'll admit that while the beets were in the oven for the second round of roasting I was thinking to myself "I wonder if this is worth the effort" - after the first bite I can say yes, it most definitely is. This isn't something you can make at the last minute but for the most part it is largely unattended oven time so it isn't that much work - just time and planning ahead. Both hubby and daughter commented that it looked like having dessert first - it looked very much like peaches with ice cream!
Twice Roasted Beets with Buttermilk, Goat Cheese and Dill Dressing
For the beets:
6-8 beets of roughly equal size
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
For the dressing:
1 4oz log goat cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon minced onion or shallot
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the dressing combine all of the ingredients except salt and pepper in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.*
Heat oven to 400. Trim the greens off the beets, leaving about an inch. Wrap each beet tightly in foil and place in a baking dish. Roast in the oven for an hour and up to 1 hour and 15 minutes until a knife goes easily through the beet. Reduce oven to 350. Let beets cool until you can handle them but you'll want them to still be warm. Remove the foil and slip the skin off, trimming off the root and stem ends. Cut each beet in half and then each half into wedges (4 or 5 wedges per half). Place them in a bowl and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Place the wedges on a baking sheet and roast again for 30 minutes. Let cool a bit then plate them and top with the dressing.
*Note - I used a 3.5 oz round of garlic and herb goat cheese because that's what I had, I omitted the lemon zest because I had some recently squeezed lemon juice in the fridge and I used dried dill, just used less. This makes a very thick dressing that would also work well as a dip with veggies.