Archive for October, 2012

Baked Whole Beets

When I was a kid, I used to eat pickled beets cold out of the can, or my mother would put them in a salad. When I talk about beets now, people wrinkle their noses and say, “Ew!” That’s because they haven’t had fresh baked whole beets, which brings out their sweetness. This is an amazingly nutritious vegetable and they are plain delicious when cooked fresh.

I warn you that fresh beets require at least 1 to 2 hours of baking time. You need to keep checking them with a fork. Know what I’m saying here? But they are worth the effort.


Fresh whole beats (small, medium or large)

Olive Oil

4 Cloves chopped garlic

Salt and pepper to taste


Trim the leaves off the top and cut off the bottom of the beets. Scrub the beets to clean off any dirt, leaving the skin on. The skin will easily peel off once they are baked. If some of the beets are large, cut them in half.

Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil, and place the prepared beets in the pan   in a single layer. Toss the beets with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover the beets with another sheet of aluminum foil, and crimp the edges to seal.

Bake for 1-2 hours, depending upon the size of the beets. Check frequently with a fork to see if they are tender. Once they are tender, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool until they can be handled. The skin should slip right off.

Slice into pieces and serve as a side dish. Feel free to add some goat cheese. It’s a delicious combination.

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Oven-Roasted Asparagus

This is one of those “I don’t measure everything” recipes I’m so famous for. It’s a pretty simple recipe, and the result is outstanding. In other words, you simply can’t go wrong with this.




1 bunch Asparagus (about 2 lbs.)

Olive Oil (about 3 tbsp. Eyeball it. See what I mean?)

1 tbsp. Tuscan Seasoning (McCormick makes a great bottled seasoning)

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Espresso-Balsamic Drizzle (Vervacious makes a great product here)


Simple stuff here. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the hard ends off the asparagus. This stuff is too tough and will not roast well. Lay the asparagus out in a roasting pan, and make sure that they don’t overlap. If you need more than one pan, use it.

Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and Tuscan Seasoning. Roast in a 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes. You don’t want the asparagus to be too limp or too hard. You want it to be, as my partner Susan would say, “just right.”

Place on a serving plate and drizzle with Espresso-Balsamic Drizzle.

I’ve spoken about Vervacious products. They are great. Balsamic drizzle is thicker than Balsamic vinegar. You can certainly make it yourself by making a reduction of balsamic vinegar and adding a quality espresso coffee product, but why bother when others can do it for you? I’ve certainly done it before but — unless you’re a purist — it’s not necessary.

This is outrageously good.

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