At a farm party years ago, my friend Susie stood over a plate of roasted beets cutting out heart shaped bites with a paring knife. Her fingers were deeply stained and hauntingly beautiful. She called them heart beets.
This is my favorite Valentine's Day side dish, sprinkled with flaky sea salt and served with herbed chevre. Since early Roman times, the juice of beets has been considered an aphrodisiac, so ditch the libido-suppressing cupcakes and go savory.
*4-5 red beets, un-peeled
*olive oil for roasting
Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Wash beets. Cut each beet in half and place on baking sheet. Toss with olive oil to coat.
Roast until a fork can easily pierce through beet flesh. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Peel off skins.
Slice beets 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Using a paring knife, cut beet slices into heart shapes. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with chevre.
or try combining them with this previous recipe to make heart beet, goat cheese stacks:
Heart Beet Stacks:
*As many beets as you like, in various sizes and colors
*enough chevre for layering
*small beet leaves or chives for garnish
Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut away beet greens (save for another application), and rinse roots. Place beets on the lined baking sheet and roast until tender, time will vary depending on size. Pierce thickest portion of beet with a fork to check for tenderness. When it goes in without the slightest protest, remove beets from oven.
Cool completely before peeling away skins. Slice with a very sharp knife into 1/4 inch rounds. Place a small amount of goat cheese between beet slices to make little stacks. Press down on the top of each stack to encourage the cheese to emerge slightly from between the layers. Garnish each stack with a little beet green.
Try and assemble shortly before serving, as the color from the beets will bleed into cheese. If you don't mind this colorful merger, stacks can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
*Serve with a napkin