Beet Salad with Balsamic Glaze, Goat Cheese & Borage Blossoms

beet-salad

Are you a beet lover or hater? I used to be a hater. Growing up all I knew were canned beets. At some point I tried fresh beets and they tasted like dirt. Gradually I developed a taste for these vibrantly-colored veggies. To my surprise, they’re actually sweet. Not pickled and dirty as I previously thought. Roasting them brings out their sweetness. They’re even sweeter with a maple balsamic glaze drizzled on top. Pillowy clouds of soft goat cheese and delicate cucumber-flavored borage blossoms add sophistication and decadence to this down-to-earth root vegetable. What is borage? Glad you asked…

Borage is a prolific edible and medicinal plant. It happened to take up residence in the walkway off my back porch, re-seeding itself throughout the season. The bees buzz around it all day long. I can hardly blame them for being drawn to these star-shaped purple flowers. They are a great companion plant for fruit trees, attracting beneficial insects and providing nutrients to the soil. I highly recommend planting some in your garden this year.

borage

Go ahead. I’ll wait while you place your seed order for borage…

Did you know that beets are a natural antidepressant, liver detoxifier AND an aphrodisiac? They contain a seratonin-supporting amino acid called tryptophan (also found in chocolate), which boosts mood. The liver-cleansing properties of beets are best derived by juicing or eating raw, but they are also effective cooked. Because beets contain high amounts of boron, which increases sex hormone production, they have been used medicinally as an aphrodisiac since Roman times.

So, let’s rinse these off. No need to scrub, we’re going to peel the skins after we roast them. Do not dry them. The moisture helps steam them once we’ve wrapped them in foil and put them in the oven preheated to 400 degrees. Roast them for about an hour, but start checking them at 45 minutes, especially if your beets are small. While they’re roasting, you can make the balsamic glaze by reducing 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and a 1/4 cup of maple syrup (see directions).

washing-beets

When the beets are fork tender, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool before handling. While they are still warm, remove the skins by rubbing them gently with your thumb. They should peel right off.

beets-foil

Slice the beets and arrange them on a plate. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Crumble goat cheese on top and place a few borage flowers as your creative genius sees fit. Voila! This is one of those dishes you can eat with your eyes.

Enjoy!

Coach Jackie

beets2

Beet Salad with Balsamic Glaze, Goat Cheese & Borage Blossoms

Ingredients

  • 4 red beets
  • 4 orange beets
  • 1 Cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Edible flowers such as borage, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash beets. Do not dry. Individually wrap wet beets in foil.
  3. Roast beets for 50-60 minutes depending on size. Check for doneness with a fork. Beets should be tender.
  4. While the beets are roasting combine balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a shallow saucepan. Simmer on the lowest heat until sauce is reduced by half, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. The sauce should be the consistency of molasses, and not watery. Don't overcook or it will turn hard and sticky.
  6. After the beets have cooled, slice them and arrange on a plate. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Crumble goat cheese on top. Garnish with borage flowers.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
http://www.thefoodthatmakesme.com/beet-salad-with-balsamic-glaze-goat-cheese-borage-blossoms/