Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Beets and Cheese

The second in a series of odd eating when the Human Vacuum is out of town.

I consoled myself over the H.V.'s departure by buying about $30 worth of fancy cheese. One of the sillier purchases was a tiny glass jar of something called Miticrema, which I now know is a soft cream cheese-like sheep's milk cheese with a yogurty tang. I didn't know what it was when I bought it, of course. I'm just a sucker for tiny glass jars of expensive foodstuffs (see fig spread, caviar, french full fat yogurt, saffron, et al.)

Elsewhere in the grocery cart, a significantly less expensive pair of beets. I've never really loved beets. In salad bars, I find them quite alarming, lying there in coins that bleed magenta into the bin of chickpeas next door. But the recent craze for salads of layered roasted beet and goat cheese and walnuts/whatever in snooty restaurants has convinced me that I have been giving beets short shift. Having never bought a beet in my life, now was the time to face the beast, err, beet on my own turf. This dish always has a fancy description on restaurant menus, like "roasted beet napoleon" or something silly. You know what it really is? Beets and cheese, thank you very much.

And what better way to face the unfamiliar than with cheese?

***
Beets and Cheese

Turn the oven on to 450 degrees.

Wrap in foil:
1 beet, peeled
Put it in the oven (no need to wait for it to preheat). After an hour or so, unwrap the beet and stick a knife in to make sure it's soft and tender. If not, rewrap and give it another 10 minutes or so.

Slice the beet into rounds and rub on a little:
Balsamic vinegar (I used a nifty fig balsamic which was a gift from my oldest ToastFriend, which added even more rich sweetness to the beet)

Then build a tower of alternating layers of beet and:
Spoonfuls of miticrema, goat cheese, or other creamy, strongly-flavored cheese

Eat standing up in the kitchen with a side of leftover chickpeas from a pan in the fridge. Or as a fancy hors d'oeuvre. Whatever.

(Note: I could only make myself eat about half of a beet in this manner--the cheese is quite rich.)

25 comments:

Alanna said...

A beet sandwich, love it!

Katherine said...

Alanna--Naturally, when I was trying to figure out what to do with my beets, I went straight to Veggie Venture for suggestions.

Anonymous said...

A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: www.tastingtoeternity.com. This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life in New York City to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of www.fromages.com. Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.

Enjoy

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