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Roasted Red and Yellow Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Most beet varieties are available in markets in late spring. Although the most common type sold is deep garnet-red, you'll also find golden beets and even ones with concentric red and white stripes reminiscent of a candy cane. To insure freshness and tenderness, choose small or medium beets with their greens still attached. Remove the greens as soon as you get home, as they will leach moisture from the roots if stored intact over long periods. Garnish the dish with fresh parsley sprigs, if you like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. red beets, with greens attached
  • 1 1/2 lb. yellow beets, with greens attached
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Trim off the beet greens and reserve for another use. Wash the beets well but do not peel, and place in a shallow baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and water. Pour the mixture over the beets and toss to coat them completely.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the beets are tender when pierced with a skewer, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover and let cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil until reduced by one-third, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Peel the beets by slipping off the skins, then cut them crosswise into thin slices. Place in a warmed serving bowl and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Season with salt and pepper, toss to coat and serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Spring, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).