Monday, July 27, 2009

First Fruit Pie of the Summer; Roasted Beets

Blueberries were cheap this week at Citarella's, $1.99 a box, so I decided to bake a blueberry pie for a little dinner with friends. I used a new crust recipe, from Cook's Illustrated. The secret ingredient, vodka, keeps the dough soft and easy to work with, and then evaporates in the oven, making the pastry crisp and flaky. Jack made these beets, which he had picked at Quail Hill on Saturday. Roasting, he explained, preserves and even intensifies their flavor (boiling just makes beets bland).

Roasted Beets

2 to 3 pounds beets, scrubbed and trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Sea salt
Ground black pepper
Fresh oregano leaves for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the beets in heavy-duty tinfoil, place the tinfoil packet on a baking sheet, and roast until a skewer goes easily through one of the beets, about 1 hour.
2. Open up the foil a little to release some of the steam, and let the beets cool a bit until you can handle them. With paper towels, rub off their skins.
3. Slice the peeled beets, arrange on a platter, drizzle with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and scatter oregano on top. Serve at room temperature.

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