Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Orange-Infused Beets with Walnuts

Thanks to the word "infused," I can charge $13 for two beets.
Granted, not everyone would want to pay that to sit in my living room (I sure wouldn't), but the point is, for such a trendy-sounding dish, this is laughably simple. It all comes down to my one secret ingredient. Are you sitting down? A splash of Trader Joe's orange muscat champagne vinegar.

I think beets are the perfect food, and I usually eat them au naturel. Why cover them up with unnecessary oils and vinaigrettes? But if you do want to jazz them up a bit, just a drizzle of this vinegar transforms them into the most sublime, dessert-like offering. The sweetness of the orange and the acidity from the vinegar balance each other beautifully, while enhancing the beets’ inherent brightness. And when you team up red and yellow beets, the yellow ones turn into beetniks, decked out in tie-dyed designs.

If you can’t find orange muscat champagne vinegar, I’m sure you could mix a little orange juice with regular champagne vinegar.


1 bunch red beets

1 bunch yellow beets (they’re orange before you cook them)

2 oranges, peeled and sliced into disks

A large handful of walnut pieces

Orange muscat champagne vinegar

Cut the stems off the beets except for about 1 inch. Scrub beets, place in steamer and cook until fork-tender, 40-50 minutes. Let them cool down enough so you can easily slip them out of their jackets (once they’ve cooled completely, it's too late.) After they’re completely cool, cut them into quarters. To serve, place 4-6 beet quarters on each plate with two orange slices. Sprinkle with walnuts. Drizzle a splash of vinegar on them and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Makes 4-6 servings, depending on beet size

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