I confess I hadn’t realized the topic was up for debate; but it seems the population of the NY metro area has recently decided that beets are good for you. Personally, I’d always taken their healthfulness for granted and been more concerned with managing their culinary qualities. In particular, I sometimes find it challenging to balance out their sweetness, which can be a bit cloying – particularly given that from what I understand they are generally considered to be a vegetable and not, say, a candy or a Hydrox cookie. (Check out that link if you have a chance, for quite the touching little story of gustatory devotion/high fructose corn syrup addiction.)
Anyway, I wasn’t really sure I was up for beets this week and didn’t have much of a strategy for using them, until I came across this recipe for Beet Roquefort Sauce on the blog Redacted Recipes. Right off the bat I could appreciate the subtle virtues of introducing large quantities of pasta, cheese and cream into the equation. But the recipe has a lot more than that to offer in terms of showcasing beets without letting them overwhelm the dish or the (initially slightly resistant) eater (who ultimately went back for enthusiastic seconds).
The original posters, who are members of a CSA in Brooklyn, also used some of their beets to make their own beet pasta, which is wayyyyyy more impressive than I was up for this evening. Instead, we put the sauce on some Rustichella d’Abruzzo linguine, an exceptional pasta that we recently discovered at Whole Foods. (Let’s just say that what the website lacks in English fluency, the company more than makes up for in impeccably textured pasta.) To really bring this dish together, pull the pasta out of its boiling water just before it’s done and cook it in the sauce for the last minute or so. I substituted my new favorite salad burnet for the parsley, and I think it worked well.