So I know next week is Valentine's Day, and I know I'm supposed to be anxiously awaiting what expensive gift my husband is going surprise me with so I can post a picture of it on Facebook (gag), but honestly, February 14th is just going to be a regular Tuesday in this house, so the deep red color of the beets in this salad is about as festive as it's going to get on this blog.
Sure, back when Joe and I started dating in college we did the whole gifts/flowers/nice dinner hoopla. But it's been eight years now, and it just feels so artificial to go all out on just one day of the year. It's money we don't need to spend, more stuff we don't need, and sweets we are trying to avoid.
I don't need a gift on some arbitrary day to know that my husband loves me.
I know he loves me because of the million little awesome things he does all year long, such as:
...getting up much earlier than any graduate student should to make me scrambled eggs for breakfast before I dash out the door to work.
...sending me links to cat videos he knows will perk up my day.
...making me a cup of tea after dinner.
...noticing when I have the hiccups and then sneaking up and scaring the crap out of me to make them go away.
...when I get visibly angry and frustrated about something, he yells, "We'll do it live! F*ing thing sucks!" just like Bill O'Reilly because he knows it will make me laugh and thus lighten my mood (I do it to him too, it works every time!).
That's what passes for love in my house, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Oh, and if you haven't seen the video of O'Reilly flipping out, you really should:
Now that I'm done ranting about Valentine's Day, let's get back to this beet salad. I didn't stray much from Rachael Ray's version, except that I chose to roast the beets instead of boil them. We just really like roasted beets. After roasting, the peel just comes right off (and the beet juice stains on your hands will come right off too with a little soap and water, so no worries there!).
You could serve this salad just like it is as a side dish, or pile it over some quinoa or other grain like we did for a complete meal. Makes a great lunch the next day too!
Citrus Beet Salad
adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine - June 2009
4 large (or 6 medium) beets
5-6 tangerines or clementines, peeled and separated into sections
1 small red onion (use 1/2 if you don't like a lot of raw red onion), finely chopped
handful fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash the beets, then wrap individually in foil and put them on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan.
Bake, undisturbed for 45 to 90 minutes. They are done when you can pierce them easily with a knife (don't bother unwrapping them, just stick the knife right through the foil). The large range of time is because they may cook at different rates, especially if they are not all quite the same size. Just remove them as they are done. Unwrap them and set them aside to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, peel them (it comes right off so easily, just use your fingers) and chop them into 1/2-inch pieces.
Put the beets, tangerine segments, onion, mint, and oil into a large bowl and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with the goat cheese. Serve on its own as a side or over a grain like quinoa for a complete meal.