We celebrated Valentine’s day early this yr. Actually, we have fun most holidays early round right here… at the least food-wise. Christmas cookies in October, Thanksgiving meals in late August and so forth.
I’m unsure what we’re doing for “real” Valentine’s but – however as soon as I obtained this recipe excellent and the photographs had been executed, Jack and I sat right down to a romantic (albeit reheated) meal for 2. The solely caveat – Jack doesn’t like beets. He’s not a choosy eater however beets are on his brief record of meals he normally gained’t contact. I initially tried this recipe with different roasted greens however the juicy sweetness of the beets went SO properly with the creamy earthy taste of the polenta. The little heart-like-shaped crimson beets mixed with the pink and white striped Chioggia beets simply wanted to be right here. Also, since I really like beets and you’re keen on beets (proper?), he was outnumbered this time.
Our dinner dialog went like this:
Me: “So I do know you don’t desire beets, however don’t you assume they work rather well in this case – only a few of them – with the opposite greens and creamy polenta and this lemony dijon dressing form of covers them up proper? I imply, I understand how a lot you’re keen on mustard.
Him: “They’re still beets.”
Me: “Remember that one time when I made beets and told you they were turnips and you ate them and you liked them?”
Him: “Yes, but this time I know they are beets and I can’t un-think that”
Me: “But if you happen to didn’t watch me make this and also you closed your eyes and ate this, you’ll in all probability be comfortable with this entire mixture proper? You would in all probability not even discover the beets.
Him: (as he’s licking his plate clear, btw.) “Ok… of all the way that I’ve had beets, this makes them taste the least beet-y. Plus this polenta is [flipping] awesome.”
So I’ll go away it as much as you whether or not you’re keen on or hate beets however let’s discuss in regards to the polenta. It’s creamy, made with my go-to unsweetened Almond Breeze as a substitute of plain water or cream. It has olive oil as a substitute of butter so other than the tiny little bit of elective feta sprinkled on prime, this meal is dairy free and vegan (however you wouldn’t realize it).
This recipe just isn’t troublesome to make however I’ll say that it’s a tad on the fussy facet, since every element must be ready individually. If you’re good at multitasking, you’ve obtained this. If not, you may roast the beets forward of time, make the dressing forward of time, and (new discovery!) you may even make the polenta forward of time.
That new discovery was a cheerful accident however it labored. I made the polenta and when it was virtually executed (not fairly thickened), I let it cool, and put it within the fridge. I took it out the subsequent day, heated it on the range whereas whisking in a little bit of water, and voila! The polenta was creamier in texture and had extra mellow taste than a “fresh” model I examined earlier.
The remainder of the dish is comprised of roasted crimson onions and chickpeas, sautéed spinach, and thinly sliced, frivolously marinated Chioggia beets… I really like the contrasting taste, texture (and colour) of the uncooked and roasted beets collectively.
This recipe serves 2, however may be simply doubled to serve four.
Creamy Polenta with Roasted Beets
- 6 to eight small crimson beets
- ½ Chioggia beet, sliced into eight paper-thin slices
- ½ small crimson onion, sliced into wedges
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- four cups contemporary spinach
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Squeeze of contemporary lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly floor black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, elective
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and freshly floor black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wrap the entire crimson beets in a sheet of aluminum foil with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place on the baking sheet and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or till mushy and fork-tender. The timing will rely upon the dimensions and freshness of the beets. Set the sliced Chioggia beet apart as will probably be served uncooked.
- Make the polenta: In a medium saucepan over medium-high warmth, deliver the almond milk, water and a ½ teaspoon salt to a mild boil. Add the polenta and whisk to mix. Reduce the warmth to low and simmer, stirring each 5 to 10 minutes. Be cautious that the combination doesn’t begin to bubble. This will scorch the polenta and go away a bitter style. Continue stirring for about 45 minutes or till the polenta has thickened however continues to be mushy and creamy. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and extra salt and pepper to style. Remove from the warmth and put aside.
- Meanwhile, line one other baking sheet with parchment paper and toss the onion wedges and chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil and beneficiant pinches of salt pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or till the chickpeas are crisp and the onions are mushy.
- Make the Lemon Dijon Dressing: In a small shallow bowl, whisk collectively the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Place the uncooked Chioggia beet slices within the dressing and allow them to marinate till you’re able to plate.
- Remove the roasted crimson beets from the oven, unwrap the foil, and put aside to chill. When they’re cool to the contact, peel the skins. I like to carry them underneath working water and slide the skins off with my fingers. Slice the beets in half, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and put aside.
- In a medium skillet, warmth 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium warmth. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper and toss. When the spinach begins to wilt, cut back the warmth and add the garlic and a squeeze of lemon. Toss and take away from warmth.
- Assemble plates with a scoop of polenta, the sautéed spinach, roasted onions, roasted chickpeas, roasted beets, uncooked beets and feta cheese, if utilizing. Drizzle the remaining Lemon Dijon dressing over the greens. Finish with freshly floor black pepper and a pinch of sea salt, if desired.
Optional: To make the polenta upfront, comply with the instructions as written however cease stirring after about 30 minutes (earlier than the polenta is thickened). Let cool, then chill till learn to prepare dinner. When able to prepare dinner, add ¼ cup water and warmth the polenta on the range, whisking vigorously till it turns into creamy once more. Add extra water if wanted. Add the olive oil and season to style.