This Meatless Monday, we have a beet recipe that takes it up a notch with mustard vinaigrette. We also have growing, storage and prep tips from Vermont Fresh: A Fruit and Vegetable Handbook.

This recipe was created for us by Karen Ranz, a volunteer testing and tasting recipes from Vermont Fresh. Thank you, Karen!

Meatless Monday Recipe: Roasted Beets with Mustard Vinaigrette

4 Servings

Meatless Monday beets

Photo courtesy of Karen Ranz.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh beets
  • ¼ cup olive or walnut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Wine or sherry vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp prepared mustard
  • ½ tsp Sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Cut the beets from their tops leaving an inch or more of stems attached.
  2. Roast in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size, until a knife tip slips in easily.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, peel with a sharp knife.
  4. Slice onto a serving plate and dress with a vinaigrette of the remaining ingredients shaken in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  5. Save the beet greens for cooking too!

Background

Grown now for thousands of years, beets are a truly old-fashioned vegetable.  The wild ancestor of the beet we eat today is native to the Mediterranean region, where it still grows today.  The Greeks and Romans used beets primarily for their leaves, however, and it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the red roots of the plant became popular.  Like many vegetables, beets were selectively bred to become the crop we know today.  While the majority of beets are strikingly red in color (particularly when cut), golden and candy-striped varieties are popular as well.  The beets that we eat are closely related to sugar beets, which are grown in extensive quantities in America for the production of sugar.  Recently, the pigment producing compounds in beets have been found to help fight against heart disease and cancer, particularly colon cancer.