Summer is here; and I know that I start almost every post with this statement- but I really cannot contain my excitement! Summer is brief around these parts, so I can guarantee you that I am not alone in my enthusiasm. And although my excitement is palpable, I still continue to make soup and root vegetables- I'm mysterious like that; but I will say this, soup is perfect in the summer- rumor even has it, that soup on a hot day cools you down. But that's still a rumor. Despite this claim, soup and root vegetables are ever so winter, conjuring up thoughts of carb loading and heavy meals; but please stay with me, I do have a point.
I love beets- one of the quintessential root vegetables; and all winter I meant to make beets- as magazines and blogs were blowing up with them; but I never managed to get around to the task. There are so many recipes to get through and so few days, it can be terribly overwhelming at times- some recipes slip through the cracks. It really is a shame.
But I resolved not to let them all slip through these unforgiving cracks. So despite it being long overdue and rather unseasonable (a theme these days)- I made beets.
On a sunny afternoon in May, I made beets; and they shone a glorious crimson and tasted so deeply earthy and rich- they were perfect.
Although my love for beets is considerable, beets have gotten a bad rap in some circles; as this is a vegetable that if poorly prepared, suffers tremendously- they end up taking on the flavor of potting soil. And let's not forget about the fact that anything they come in contact with is branded with the characteristic violet that beets are known for. Personally I think the hand staining is half the fun of preparing these little gems- but that can be boiled down to eccentricity. However, no matter your sentiments on staining and regardless of the time of year, this is a go to dish. The beets alone- sauteed with balsamic vinegar- are divine; but because it's summer and the time to celebrate life with indulgence, I added toasted almonds.
Beet with Almonds
4 large beets, trimmed and peeled
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1 sprig of cilantro
1/4 cup balsamic oil
1 tbsp salt- for boiling
3/4 tsp salt- for cooking
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp olive oil
Dice the beets in large pieces; and bring 4 cups of water to boil with the beets and 1 tbsp of salt. Cook until a fork can be easily pierced into a beet. Drain and cool. Heat the olive oil in a non stick saute pan on medium high heat. Add the beets and toss for 4 minutes or the beets start to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper. Toss 1 more minute. Deglaze by adding the balsamic oil. Cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat; add the almonds and garnish with cilantro.