Hallelujah! The organic section of my grocery store has expanded to included about twice the number of vegetables (and many spices, as well). I couldn't resist getting a bag of beets, but I brought them home and kind of had no idea what to do with them (my previous experience with beets comes from opening up a can of them to put onto a salad). Some internet research quickly confirmed how long to roast them and at what temperature to bring out the best in the beets. The rest was improvised by the Ambassatrix and me.
I can't tell you how wonderful the roasted beets tasted and pairing them with the goat cheese was just perfect. The beets are earthy but rather sweet (they got lots of sugar in them) and the cheese gives the requisite fat needed to balance out all those healthy veggies.
Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese with Veggie Quinoa Mix
3/4 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cup water
4-6 beets, depending on the size
100 grams goat cheese
3 T olive oil
2 leeks, sliced
8-10 oz mushrooms, crimini or portobello, cut in bite size pieces
salt and pepper
Wrap beets in aluminum foil (not necessary to do that individually, but wrap 2-3 together in a line) and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour on 350.
Put the quinoa and water in a small pot and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer, partly cover, until almost all water is evaporated. In another pan, sauté leeks and mushrooms in oil over medium heat, until mushrooms have shrunk and leeks have begun to caramelize (see picture to right). When veggies are sufficiently cooked, add quinoa (which still has just a little water in it, although the seeds are cooked) to the veggies. Add salt and pepper as you see fit. Mix together.
Remove beets from oven and allow to cool slightly. Peel with a vegetable peeler or knife (alternatively, you could experiment with peeling them before roasting. I hear this works also.) Slice beets into rounds or half-moons or clovers or whatever you like. Handle the beet without fear. It will make your hands red; it's proof positive that you are a proud cooker of beets. Only babies use gloves when peeling beets.
So, put some quinoa veggie mix on a plate or in a bowl. Arrange some slices of beet and top it off with some slices of goat cheese. Eat up!
Taking the beets and cheese and putting them on some greens would also make a simple and quick salad/side dish.
And don't be alarmed when you excrete the beets; that red color dyes everything.