Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Moroccan Roasted Beets with Pomegranate Seeds

It's the week of Christmas.  Insanity, right?!  I have barely started my shopping (and I sort of can't afford to anyway).  I have, however, been making candies for gifts like it's my job; get ready for lots of recipes... then again, I am weeks behind on recipes, so you can expect the candy recipes maybe by Valentine's Day!  Because here we are at almost Christmas, and I am about to share my Thanksgiving recipes with you.

As you may already know, I hosted Thanksgiving this year.  35 beautiful, wonderful family and friends packed into my house, and every one of them helped make it possible.  For example, I somehow managed to not have to roast either the turkeys or the ham!  I got to focus on desserts and side dishes, which are my true loves anyway.

So, on to the beets.  In case my sweet aunt Tracy reads this - and I know she does! - I will not tell you that I have always disliked her pickled beets.  Shhhh, it's a secret.  But I really do love beets.  I think they have such a subtle, slightly sweet, earthy flavor that can be totally overwhelmed by vinegar.  I'm a fan of pickles and beets, but not pickled beets.  Please!  So I took over the beets this year.  I wanted to try out something new that could maybe turn the beet haters into beet lovers (or at least beet try-ers).  I was intrigued by this recipe.  The beets are roasted with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper until they are tender and sweet.  Then the fun starts.  There's a balsamic maple glaze that goes on after they roast, and right before you serve, you add in pomegranate seeds, crushed roasted pistachios, and orange zest.  There's so much flavor and color and texture in such a healthy, humble dish that it makes me smily just thinking about it.  OMG sometimes I am such a kitchen nerd.  But really.  And I was totally kitchen nerd-ing out when I heard people complimenting the beets at dinner.  In fact they were even featured in Gram's annual stream of consciousness speech!  Trust me, beet haters. Give this recipe a try and you may change your mind.

No offense, Tracy.  I love you and your bread pudding ;)

One important note: this is totally a perfect make-ahead dish.  I roasted the beets and made the glaze the day before; I just reheated and put everything together on Thanksgiving.  I think beets are best freshly roasted, but microwaving them and warming them in the oven worked just fine too.


Moroccan roasted beets with pomegranate seeds
serves 4 - 6

3 pounds beets, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch wedges or slices
2/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
for glaze:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
for topping:
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup crushed roasted pistachios
1 tablespoon orange zest


1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss beets, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until fork tender, stirring every 15 minutes, for about 45 minutes.

2) While beets roast, make the glaze.  Combine vinegar and maple syrup in a small pot on low heat and reduce for 20 minutes until you have about 3 tablespoons.

3) When beets are done, place in a serving dish and toss with balsamic glaze, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios.  Garnish with orange zest.

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