Roasting beets is as easy as wrapping them up in foil and tossing them in an oven for an hour. The results are sweet and meaty with a colorful deep burgundy hue. They can be sliced or chopped, and tossed into to salads, mixed with grains, or sautéed with other greens. Beets make a tasty partner because they tend to accentuate the other ingredients on the plate, and offer a nice contrast in texture and taste, plus they’re loaded with vitamins and sugars that give you a natural boost of energy.
Valentine’s Day is at the end of the week, and for most of us, we’re staying home and cooking, like I do most years anyway. It’s fun to create heart-shaped foods on the plate and beets can be transformed by using a cookie cutter to slice through them. The softened beets creates a simple symbol of love, and quite fun to place with a few peppery arugula leaves.
The feta cream is a simple puree of cheese and cream, that creates a dollop of saltiness and brings this salad all together to accompany a fun Valentine’s Day meal. The three components; bitter, sweet and salty are super satisfying and I’m sure your loved one will think so too.
2-3 large beets
2 cups arugula leaves
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets in foil and drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Wrap beets tightly and roast in oven for 1 hour. Insert knife to make sure they are tender. Remove and let cool. This can be done, one day ahead and chilled in refrigerator.
2. Using a paring knife, peel beets and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices horizontally. Using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut through each beet, set aside.
3. To make the feta cream – add feta and cream to a food processor. Puree until smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add salt and pepper and pulse, until combined. Layer greens on a large plate or platter and top with heart-shaped beets. Spoon feta cream over the top and drizzle entire plate with vinegar. Serve immediately, Enjoy!