Monday, July 16, 2012

Roasted Beets with Barley, Greens and Feta

This is the last time I'm going to expend any more energy urging you to give beets a chance. I've already shared two of my favorite beet dishes here and here; if they weren't enough to convince you, I'm unsure that this dish will. Maybe you need to read my top 3 reasons to eat beets: 

  1. They're pink! Or is it purple? Somewhere in between.
  2. They're full of tons of vitamins and minerals, including folate, manganese, beta keratin, anti oxidants, and lots of fiber.
  3. They taste good when you eat them. (especially when they've been roasted into sweet tenderness rather than pickled in a can). 
Are you convinced?  

A few words about this salad. 1) I originally intended to make it with quinoa, but when I mentioned it to my husband, he quickly requested a barley substitution instead-quinoa isn't his favorite. So feel free to exchange barley for quinoa with excellent results either way. 2) I like to use the greens right off my bunch of beets, but sometimes they look like they've been through a war zone. If that's the case, beet greens can easily be swapped with Swiss chard or collard greens. 3) Don't add the feta cheese to the entire bowl salad or you'll end up with hot pink cheese. It's much nicer to top each serving with a few crumbly bits at the end. 

Roasted Beets with Barley, Greens and Feta
Recipe loosely adapted from NPR
Picture by Kelly

1 cup uncooked barley
3 medium beets + beet greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

  1. In a medium pot, cook barley according to directions on the package (most likely in 3 cups of water for 45 minutes). 
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut stems off beets and set the greens aside. Wash the beets and prick them with a knife. Place on a baking sheet and roast about 40 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove beet skins and cut into small matchstick-sized pieces. 
  3. Wash the beet greens and slice them thinly. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a skillet and add beet greens. Cook about 2 minutes, or until greens are just barely starting to wilt. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, combine barley with dressing. Add greens and beets and stir until evenly incorporated. Top each serving with feta cheese.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.

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