Summertime Splendor: Crushed Beets with Lemon Vinaigrette

Generally speaking, I find that I consume considerably less sweets throughout the summer months. This is largely due to my habitual berry consumption in the evenings. I also tend to think its because my body (and mind) are satisfied and satiated with the foods I am eating regularly in the summer, thus eradicating cravings for more. Beets are a recent staple that I have turned to on a fairly regular basis for both satisfaction and satiation. As a kid, I was incredibly averse to beets because I ran the risk of getting the dye on my skin and clothing. I didn’t even give them a fighting chance at that age, but I am proud to say I have come around at the ripe old age of 26.

Beets are incredibly versatile entities and are relevant in any season. They are also nutritionally beneficial in many ways. I’m going to rehash what I said in an earlier post, because the nutritional information as it pertains to beets is pertinent and important to know.

Beets are ripe with the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamins A-B-C
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorous
  • Magnesium
  • Fiber

And despite having a fair amount of natural sugar, the human body still processes the sugar in beets in a much quicker manner than something like chocolate. In turn, the sugar moves through your body and thus, does not turn into fat.

I am turning to these root vegetables again (in rather ambiguous form) as this recipe from Bon Appétit can be utilized as either a side-dish or dessert. Beets are baked for 50 minutes in the stove, further cooked in a skillet over the stove for 4 more minutes with salt & pepper, and then tossed with the lemon-vinaigrette and herbs. The finish encapsulates creamy plain yogurt (or labneh, for the ambitious) coupled with more herbs and seasoning for an incredible taste. The fact that I was able to pluck dill and mint from the herb garden in the backyard added to my gratification surrounding this dish. I planned on having this as a side to my dinner, but when I realized I was too full to incorporate it into the menu, I settled on utilizing the beets as a dessert.

Summer splendor, indeed.

Crushed Beets with Lemon-Vinaigrette
Recipe taken from the June 2014 issue of Bon Appétit
Serves 4

  • 2 pounds mixed small or medium beets (such as Chioggia, red, and/or golden), scrubbed
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (lightly packed) fresh mint leaves, plus more
  • 2 tbsp. torn fresh dill, plus more
  • Plain Greek yogurt (or labneh)
  • Maldon or any flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 400°. Divide beets between 2 large sheets of foil. Drizzle beets on each sheet with ½ Tbsp. oil; season with kosher salt and pepper and wrap up foil around beets. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until tender, 40–50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then, using a paper towel, rub skins from beets (they should slip off easily). Crush beets with the bottom of a small bowl (it’s alright if they fall apart).

Meanwhile, whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl; set vinaigrette aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beets, season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to bowl with vinaigrette, add ¼ cup mint and 2 Tbsp. dill, and toss to coat.

Serve beets and dollops of labneh drizzled with more oil, topped with more herbs, and seasoned with pepper and sea salt.

Blogger’s Note: Remember to not let the beet greens go to waste, as they can be sautéed appropriately with garlic and oil.

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One thought on “Summertime Splendor: Crushed Beets with Lemon Vinaigrette

  1. Love both of your posts!

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