Monday, November 1, 2010

Balsamic Beets and Greens over Pesto Quinoa

There's something really nice about Sunday evenings. I know a lot of people sort of dread Sunday night since it means the weekend is coming to an end and another week is just around the corner. Right now I don't get up to go to work on Monday mornings, so that probably helps in my enjoyment of Sunday evenings. But even when I was working a 9 to 5 job, I still liked the quiet and calm of a Sunday evening. Rarely does anyone make plans since most people do have to get up for work or school. That means it's an evening reserved for just me and my hubs. It also usually begins my cooking week since I tend to take Friday and/or Saturday nights off. I need the break and look forward to going out to eat a meal that someone else came up with, prepared and cleaned up afterward. But by Sunday, I'm ready to get cooking again and look forward to a fresh week of making new things and old favorites.
This Sunday's dinner was a combination of some favorite flavors, but made in a new way. I've made roasted beets plenty of times and love to pair them with goat cheese. The sweetness of the beets goes perfectly with the tangy goat cheese. They are great over arugula in a simple salad but this week I wanted to do something different. I decided to roast the beets and saute the beet greens and then combine them with the sweet flavor of balsamic vinegar. Instead of serving the beets over arugula for a salad, I used the arugula pesto left over from our grilled cheese sandwiches stirred into quinoa. The pesto melted in the cooked quinoa and gave it a new flavor that went great with the balsamic beets. I topped the whole thing with some crumbled goat cheese to add another layer of flavor and texture. Even though the meal is vegetarian, you won't miss the meat with such hearty flavors and the quinoa is a great source of protein on its own.

Balsamic Beets and Greens over Pesto Quinoa (Serves 2)
  • 3-4 large red beets, greens included (or 5-6 small)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (or 1 small onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1/2 cup arugula pesto (or your favorite pesto)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 oz goat cheese
Preheat oven to 425F.
Trim beets, leaving about two inches of stem; set greens aside. Wash off any dirt.
Wrap beets in tinfoil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 45-60 minutes, until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool before trimming ends and removing skin. Cut into 1/2 inch wedges. (Can be done ahead. Keep in a sealed container in refrigerator until ready for use.)
Remove the red stems from the beet greens and cut the leaves into 1 inch wide strips. Wash well and dry.
Bring quinoa and water, with a pinch of salt, to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Cover and simmer over low for 10-15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan.
Saute sliced shallots until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another couple of minutes, then add garlic.
Add beet greens and toss together. Cook until greens are wilted, about 5 minutes.
Toss in roasted beets and remaining tbsp balsamic vinegar. Cook to heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir pesto into cooked quinoa. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Spoon quinoa into bowls and top with roasted beets and greens. Crumble goat cheese on top.

For a printable recipe click here

Balsamic Beets and Greens Over Pesto Quinoa

No comments:

Post a Comment