Baked Beets with Vinaigrette Dressing

Lovely golden and red beets from Big Lick Farm

Baked Beets with Vinaigrette and Chives
Serves 4 to 6

This is how I serve beets most often. They're delicious warm, at room temperature, or cold. Leftovers, straight from the refrigerator, make a nice addition to a green salad. Golden beets and red beets are lovely served side by side, but you must bake and dress them separately to keep the colors from mingling. This recipe was inspired by one in the fabulous little cookbook Fresh From the Farmers' Market by Janet Fletcher.

1 1/2 pounds beets
1 recipe Basic Vinaigrette, omitting pepper
fresh chives for garnishing, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub the beets well and trim off all but ½ inch of the stems. Place in a shallow baking dish, add ¼ cup of water, cover tightly with a lid or foil and bake for 35 to 45 minutes (longer if beets are large) until just tender when pierced with a cake tester or sharp knife. Remove from oven and let stand, uncovered, until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette.

Slip the skins off the beets under warm, running water. Small beets can be quartered. Larger beets should be cut into bite-sized pieces. Place in a medium bowl, add the dressing, and toss gently. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and garnish with snipped chives.

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