The beets in our garden are big enough to eat, which, in my world, means they're the size of golf balls. In the fall, when the beets are huge and the greens not as young, I like to make the Beet Box, but when the root and tops are tender and young, we celebrate the beet a different way.
Last night we yanked up a handful and roasted them, then sautéed the greens in some Herb Butter and topped with toasted hazelnuts and cold goat cheese. It was a delicious crop-celebration; as if to put the beet on a pedestal and take a moment to appreciate all its parts. The only part we didn't eat was the skin, which was with me in the form of magenta fingertips. Summer is a lovely time.
Roasted Beets and Sautéed Greens with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese
4-6 small beets, or 2-3 larger betters, tops on
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Herb Butter or olive oil
1/2 cup water, stock or white wine, optional
3 tablespoons very cold goat cheese, broken into small pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Remove the beet greens just above where they connect with the beet. Rinse the beets and greens thoroughly. Wrap each beet loosely in foil. Roast for about an hour, until beets are barely soft to touch. When cool enough, remove skin and slice into quarters or eights, depending on size (small bite-sized pieces).
Toast the hazelnuts in a medium sauté pan over medium-high flame, turning constantly, until brown, about 5 minutes. Set nuts aside.
In the same pan over medium flame, melt the butter and sauté the garlic until turning color, about 2-3 minutes. Add the beet greens, stems intact, and sauté until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. If pan gets too dry, add a splash of water, stock, or white wine.
Remove from flame and toss in roasted beet pieces, nuts, salt and pepper. Empty onto serving platter or individual plates and top with bits of cold goat cheese.