Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Food Nanny Valentine's French Menu (Option #2), and Roasted Beets

I know what you're thinking. Beets? For Valentine's Day? And to you I say, What better occasion,? The colors and flavors are rich, they look sexy on a plate, and they're unexpected! My guess is that 90% of you have never had roasted beets, so not only does it become a lovely visual, it becomes a new experience which will add a little excitement (and dare I say "spark"?) to your celebration. There are a few foods that I don't care for unless they're roasted, and beets are one of them. The reason is because that high dry heat of roasting brings out optimal texture and flavor in so many foods. It crisps them on the outside while trapping moisture in the middle making the center soft, creating that wonderful contrast of textures in your mouth.

Anyway, no more of that technical gab on Valentine's Day. (Only nutters like me find that appealing.) I'm going to tell you about a guy I used to date. The first time he took me out, we went to a familiar restaurant, the conversation was pretty rote, he could only eat white food because he'd just had his teeth bleached, which was awkward... Our prospects looked about as intriguing as his dinner plate. But, he decided to give it another shot. This time he took me to a nice French restaurant, Le Chat Noir in D.C. It was my first time ever having proper French food, and I told him so at the table. His eyes lit up and he told me that, in that if that was the case, we were going to make dinner an experience. He ordered a couple of different appetizers, including escargo, three entrees, a couple of different beverages and a few desserts, all for just the two of us to share. It was so much fun that the conversation soared, and I walked away with completely new eyes for this guy. The third date tanked and the fourth wasn't enough to revive it, but the point is that new experiences give new life. So make the darn beets! (Or just use your favorite mashed potato recipe. It's okay.)  :)

Before I give you the recipe for this V-Day mojo, allow me to introduce to you the rest of this seriously, seriously delicious French-themed menu. Like with Valentine's Menu (Option #1), these recipes come courtesy of the talented and lovely Liz Edmunds, the Food Nanny, who I have the honor of working with on this little project. Thank you, Liz!

The Menu
Main Course: Food Nanny Fillet Mignon
Side Dishes: Roasted Beets and Beet Greens and Steamed Honey Glazed Carrots; French Baguette
Dessert: Strawberries and Cream Cake

The Music
"Eiffel Tower" (Playlist to be shared in a later post after all recipes have been posted.)

Fillet Mignon.... mmmmmmm..... and it comes with a red wine cream sauce! You'll get that recipe tomorrow.
Roasted Beets and Beet Greens
by Liz Edmunds, the Food Nanny

Serves 4
Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

4 medium size fresh beets with greens
Olive oil
Coarse salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Sour cream for garnish, optional
Feta or Blue Cheese, optional

Preheat the oven to 375-400 degrees.
Rinse beets. Scrub lightly. 
Cut the root off the bottom and discard. Cut off the greens at the top - discard greens if not roasting. Rinse and pat dry beets and beet greens with paper towel. Do not peel the beets. No need.

Place the whole beets in a roasting pan. Lay the greens next to the beets. Drizzle the beets and greens generously with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper. 
Shame on me for not reading the instructions properly! I roasted them like this instead of in a roasting dish, but they still came out great. I just had to turn down the temp a teeny bit and put them in for a little less time. And the greens were really crispy, but they were almost like chips that way! So cool!
Put the lid on and place the pan in the oven on the middle rack. Roast for 1 hour or until the beets are tender when a knife inserts easily. Check the beets half-way through and turn. If roasting the greens, check them to make sure they are not burning. If desired, remove early.
In you go, ladies. This won't hurt a bit... Think "sauna".

Remove the beets and greens to a plate. Pass the sour cream and eat the beets like a baked potato. You can eat the skins or choose to peel the skins back. I like the skins! Eat the greens along side the beets. Save leftovers for another meal.

Serve With
Beef, chicken or pork.

 Slice warm roasted beets 1/4 inch thick. Remove skins if desired and lay out on a plate. Sprinkle with olive oil or walnut oil, feta or blue cheese. Delicious.

 See you tomorrow for the main course!


  1. Gorgeous pictures, Eats and Beats! ....and I LOVE Beets!

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