Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
Remember the last time I cooked beets? (I know you probably don’t, that’s why I put the link in there.) Well, I ate them, but the recipe obviously didn’t have me clamoring for more. And I made no more attempts to cook them until they showed up in my CSA panier a few weeks ago.
You see, I really want to like beets, especially this time of year. They are such a sexy shade of deep red, in striking contrast to the whites and browns of most of Winter’s root vegetables. So what can I do to make them taste as sexy as they look? In a word: bacon. Oh, I threw some chestnuts in there for good measure, and drizzled it all with a little Balsamic vinegar, all of which I’m sure helps the cause, but we all know it’s the smoky, meaty bacon that makes the magic happen.
Balsamic Roasted Beets with Bacon and Chestnuts
Here it is – the recipe that finally made me like beets.
3½ oz. / 100 g lardons
2 medium beets, peeled and diced into ½ inch (13 mm) cubes
4½ oz. / 130 g roasted, peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced (optional)
Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C.
- Place the lardons in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Place over medium heat and bring up to a simmer. Remove from heat and drain.
- Combine the beet cubes, blanched lardons, chestnuts, shallot (if using) and thyme on a foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and splash a little olive oil on top. Stir to coat.
- Roast 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, drizzle the beets with a little balsamic vinegar, stir to redistribute, and roast for another 20 minutes, or until beets are tender. Serve hot.
Serves 2 as a side dish.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.