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I love beets and have them growing in my garden almost year round. This Warm Beet Salad with Bacon and Goat Cheese is one I especially enjoy in the winter time because it’s so, warm and earthy. I also love that this recipe uses all of the beet, tops, and bottoms. Whether you plan to use them or not, always buy beets with their tops, the tops should look fresh and healthy.
When working with beets it’s best to use a paper towel to remove the skin, or your fingers will be pink (well, that’s when you are working with red beets, yellow beets do not have the same issues). The pink will usually wash off after a couple of times washing with soap and water, but sometimes the color doesn’t come off as easily as other times. My fresh beets from the garden seem to fade quicker than those I get at the store. Not sure why. Perhaps age?
Heat oven to 425º F.Remove the tops from the beets. Wrap the beets in foil and place on a rimmed cookie sheet; place in oven and roast for 25 - 30 minutes, or until they are tender. Open package, allow to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, remove the skins by rubbing them with a paper towel (try to not get the juice on your fingers unless you like the color pink). Cut into halves and then into bite-sized wedges, about 6 wedges per half.Meanwhile, remove the tough stems from the beet tops, wash the tops, dry well and cut into slices of about 1 inch. Cut the tender stems into pieces also about 1 inch.
While the beets are cooling; cook the bacon in a skillet until just beginning to brown, but not crisp. Add the olive oil along with the tender stems and saute 2 to 3 minutes, then add the tops and saute until tender, about 7 - 10 minutes. Add the beet wedges, salt, pepper and the balsamic. Toss well to coat. Serve warm with goat cheese crumbled over if desired.
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