Martha Stewart Living (April 2016)
If we tallied up all the money we spent at farmers markets last year, we're afraid we might be aghast.
You see, we're avid farmers market goers. We live for the asparagus of the spring, the stone fruit of the summer, apples in the fall, and, well, we kind of bide our time through winter's bleakness waiting for spring to come back around.
We went to the market fewer times this winter than any of the last five years. We just weren't feeling inspired to haul out of our house on cold Sunday mornings. We hated buying our eggs at the supermarket instead of from the wonderful man we see at the market, but for some reason, and with no real discussion about it between the two of us, we largely opted out this winter.
We made our return to the market two weeks ago. It was a cool Sunday morning. We were hoping for asparagus. There was none to be found (still too early), but there were ramps, which was fun to see. And, as there were the few times we hit the market this winter, there were big, beautiful beets.
We love beets, be they raw, marinated, or slawed (just go with it). But we rarely make them, and we're sorry to say that that's largely because of the mess. They stain. It's ugly. And we recognize that it's more a mental hurdle than any real obstacle. The stain, after all, goes away quickly.
It's a hurdle we need to overcome. Because beets are delicious! (Quiet down, haters.)
We dusted off our beet apprehension, and got to making these Roasted Beets with Dill-and-Chive Yogurt Dressing.
We made this dish on a day that we made about three other magazine recipes. We felt like cooking, and so our kitchen became a little whirl of activity, making a number of things you'll see here over the next few weeks. So we made these beets in two steps, roasting them on Day 1, and then peeling them and making the dressing on Day 2.
The beets, as prepared here, are, well, beets. Ours were sweet and nicely roasted, a very solid beet. But it's the dressing and accouterments that we really liked here. The dressing is primarily made of whole-milk yogurt (plus mayo, lemon juice, dill and chives). It really sings, with a springy little zip. But it's the three other additions, match-sticked apple, thinly sliced cucumber, and a bit of jalapeno that really make this dish special. It's a nice mix of smooth, crunchy, tangy and sweet.
Our only regret about this dish is that we didn't make it with golden beets, and we say that only for aesthetic reasons. We love how Martha's beets look in the photo below. Red beets quickly stain the yogurt dressing, so we had to very carefully plate all of this for a photo. By the time we served it to friends, the red had started to really take over and the whole thing was a pale-pink mess (but a yummy one!).
But that's a quibble. Make it with red beets. Make it with golden beets. Just make it. Really.
Total Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
NOTES FROM ZACH AND CLAY:
We used red beets instead of golden. We don't think there's a huge taste difference between the two, but if you use red beets, know that the red stains the yogurt sauce if it sits for very long.
This recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of mayonnaise. We didn't have any in our fridge, so we omitted it, and still loved the dressing.
8 medium beets, preferably golden, trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons minced chives
1/2 small green apple, such as Granny Smith, cut into very thin matchsticks (3/4 cup)
1 Persian or mini cucumber, very thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
1/2 small jalapeno, seeded if desired, very thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle beets with oil; season with salt. Wrap in parchment-lined foil and roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 hour. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then rub off skins and cut into 1/4-inch slices.
Whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Toss apple with 3 tablespoons dressing. Arrange beets on a platter; top with apple and cucumber. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with jalapeno; serve.