Getting my kids involved with dinner is key to keeping them interested in trying new foods. The farmers market is my sanity saver when it comes to introducing new vegetables. The visual of the beautifully laid tables of vegetables gets everyone in the spirit to try something new. The beet is our latest new vegetable (actually, it’s the beetroot).
High in fiber, vitamins and minerals, the beet is a very versatile vegetable. Too rich in nutrients to be ignored, the beet is easy to incorporate as a side to any meal. The meaty texture of roasted beets holds up well in a variety of dressings. In this recipe, the sweetness of carrots naturally complements the flavor of the beets.
To turn this recipe into a “beet spider,” and for more ideas for cooking with children, check out The Pantry Project, and its shop to find kid-sized kitchen tools, aprons and gift sets!
Prepare to roast the veggies
Preheat oven to 350°
Step 1: Roast beets and carrots. Trim the stems of 2-3 medium sized beets, leaving just a nub of the green stem. The less you pierce or cut the beet, the less mess you have from the beet sugar roasting and cooking out of the beet. Wrap the beets in foil, and place on a baking sheet. I add a little water to the baking sheet and this helps prevent the cooked beet sugar from sticking to the pan. Roast at 350° for 1 hour. After one hour of roasting the beets, add the sheet of carrots to the oven and roast the beets and the carrots for 30 minutes longer.
6 medium carrots can be roasted whole then diced (this works only if the carrots are skinny), or cut into slivers and roasted. Either way, peel the carrots and toss them in a little olive oil to coat. Place them on a baking sheet lined with foil, and roast the carrots for 30 minutes.
Prepare Raspberry Vinaigrette
Step 2: Prepare the Raspberry Vinaigrette. **Make sure to zest your lemon before cutting it! Reserve the zest from one lemon for use in step 4. Whisk together 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup, juice from one half of a lemon, 3 teaspoons of raspberry vinegar and 3 Tablespoons of olive oil.
Slice Beets and Carrots
Step 3: Slice Beets and Carrots. After roasting the beets, use a knife or a vegetable peeler to peel away the tough outer skin, and discard the skin. Slice the roasted beets into cubes. Slice the roasted carrots into rounds or slivers if they were roasted whole.
Dress the veggies
Step 4: Dress the veggies. Just before serving, toss the cubed roasted beets and the sliced roasted carrots with the raspberry vinaigrette, and top with finely grated lemon zest.