I have this really great friend who has a really great garden. This is key to this specific recipe. One day in the office, said friend (Kristin) left a bag of goodies on my chair. I opened the bag with great excitement and found beets, kale, and zucchini. Here is what I made with the beets and kale...I think you're going to approve.
Roasted Beets with Kale - serves 4 as a side dish
4 to 6 large, or 6 - 8 medium beets, with the beet greens
1 bunch of kale
2 large sweet onions
grapeseed or vegetable oil, 2 tbsp
3/4 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, or whichever nut you love best)
paprika to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
black pepper to taste
honey to taste
brown sugar to taste
Take the beets, cut the beet greens off, lightly rinse the beets under cold water, place them in a baking dish and drizzle some olive oil on top. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees F for about an hour. If the beets are small it might take less time (start checking after 30 to 40 minutes - you want to be able to pierce the beets with a fork easily). Remove from the oven and let cool.
Be patient. Letting them cool is key for skin removal. When you're ready to peel off the skin, wear gloves. You have been warned. Put on those gloves, grasp the beet in your fingers, and rub off the peel. It really works!
Once the peels have been removed, quarter the beets. If they are large, quarter the quarters. You get the picture.
In the meantime, caramelize at least 2 large, sweet onions. Again, be patient. Do the caramelization in a few tablespoons of grapeseed or vegetable oil, on low to medium heat. This will take about 30 minutes. You can add some garlic near the end, but it's not necessary for this recipe.
In a separate pan, place some walnuts. If you don't like walnuts, use another nut. Any nut will do. Add a smidge of paprika. Add a tad of cayenne pepper. Grind some black pepper on top. Drizzle with honey. Add a few teaspoons of brown sugar. Toast on low to medium heat til they look ready. You'll know. Taste them. Are they awesome? If not quite awesome enough, add some more of any of the above ingredients. Play around with it 'til you love them.
Grab a big pot that has a cover. Remove the stem of the kale leaves and chop up the leaves. You can add the beet greens into the kale if you like. Wash the kale (and beet greens) very well. Put it into the big pot while the leaves are still wet. Cover the pot. Turn the burner on medium to high and steam the kale for less than 5 minutes. Depends on how you like your kale, but I want it to still be a little bit crunchy, and bright green.
Now - take the beets, throw them in with the onions and turn up the heat in that frying pan. When it's hot and sizzling, add the kale. Then the nuts. Stir 'til just mixed, and piping hot.
Serve while hot. This keeps well in the fridge for at least two days.