Roasted Beet Sliders

I'm trying to get over my dislike of beets. Between the color that stains everything they touch to the texture that I can't quite place, they are one of those vegetables that I have avoided my entire life. But, I'm trying to change my opinion of beets and this slider is a great place to start. 

People often describe beets as tasting like "dirt" (although I've never detected this). There may be a place for "terroir" in a conversation about wine, but "dirt" is an entirely different thing. This impression may be due to the fact that beets (along with mushrooms, spinach and lettuce) contain geosmin, which according to Grow magazine, "is an organic compound produced by microbes in the soil. Geosmin gives off a smell like freshly plowed earth or a field after a rainstorm. Human noses are very sensitive to geosmin, and while some people don’t like it, others love it."

Even if you're a staunch Republican, a dislike of beets may be one thing you can agree with President Obama about

Wow! Doesn't that intro make you want to run out and eat beets?

Here's the kicker - I grew them this past year in my garden anyway. It's kind of hard to hate food that you grew yourself. I guess I've grown attached to these things as I nurtured them and watched them grow. So, I was determined to at least try to like them. 

I started by roasting my very small crop of beets (really, they were mini - I hope to do better next year) and created "Beet Sliders." Goat cheese is often paired with beets in salads, so I figured, what the heck. I came across some inspiration from chowhound for this recipe and I gave it a whirl.

Did masking the beets as a "slider" help me change my mind about beets? Yes - I think it's helping me chisel away at it. I could really taste the sweetness in the beets this time as I hadn't in prior attempts to eat it. The roasting really brings out the flavor. Whether you like beets or are trying to like them, give this healthy root vegetable a shot in this easy-to-make "comfort food" slider.

Roasted Beet Sliders

Yields 4 sliders

Whether you're using fresh beets from the garden or the market, you'll only need a couple of slices per slider, so only roast what you need. 

Ingredients

2 medium beets
1/4 tsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar per 2 slices of roasted beets
Kosher salt & pepper to taste
Unsalted butter
4 small burger buns or baguette, cut into 4 portions

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast them in the oven for approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until slightly tender.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  5. (optional) When cool enough to touch, but still slightly warm, remove the skin by sliding it off with your hands or a paper towel. 
  6. Slice the beets about 1/8 thick. 
  7. Coat the slices in the vinegar. About 1/4 tsp per two beet slices is what I would recommend.
  8. Coat with a small amount of salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Spread a little butter on the bun/bread and put on heated non-stick skillet. Toast until golden.
  10. Put about 2-3 TBSP of goat cheese on each side of the bun/bread. Place two slices in between and assemble the slider.

I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).

I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)

This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.

In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself. 

With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix  DMC-ZS15 compact camera.) 

I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.    

Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!

- Catherine