I had to laugh when I read the ongoing series of posts about getting picky eaters to eat vegetables on Cheap Healthy Good earlier this summer. Although I now love food enough to not only cook it, but spend my precious free time writing about it, I was an extremely picky kid and would still categorize myself on the picky end of the spectrum.Let’s just say the summer I first went to sleep-away camp at around age 10 was a momentous one, culinarily. At this no-frills camp, meals were served family style and if you didn’t like what was offered, you didn’t eat. There were literally no alternatives. A picky kid can hold out for a meal or two, but envisioning a whole month of hunger will make even the pickiest eater fold. Among my discoveries that summer? That spaghetti was still edible even when sullied with sauce rather than served plain with just a pat of butter. My parents thrilled to find out that I was now willing to eat an egg on occasion, although only scrambled.
Luckily I seem to have gotten over my most egregious aversions . Well, not all of them-I still eat mostly vegetarian not so much out of ethical reasons but out of a distaste for meat. But I am now happy to eat nearly any fruit, vegetable, or grain. Almost any. Beets have still proven to be my bugaboo, much to Dylan’s dismay. An avowed beet lover, he made me some sort of beet and goat cheese appetizer as part of my birthday dinner the year we started dating and while it was palatable, it certainly wasn’t the thing that won my heart. In the nearly five years since then, I’ve choked down beets maybe once or twice and only when out of politeness, I really felt I had no choice.
So something very strange must have been in the air earlier this summer when I picked up a bunch of beets at the farmer’s market, thinking that they might make good baby food for Maddie. Turns out that supposedly only small beets are good for babies (and let’s not even get into the staining issues!), so the beets were left for our consumption. The old, super-picky me would have clearly tossed them or just let them rot in the crisper, but the new open-minded me noticed this recipe on Healthy and Gourmet and thought it actually sounded kind of interesting and appealing.
I’m happy to report that I’ve had a beet breakthrough. The recipe was delicious and choosing some fun, candy-striped beets to use made it all the more enjoyable. While I haven’t touched a beet again in the 2 months or so since I made this dish, I would happily eat it again. So I’ll call that progress…
Roasted beets with warm pomegranate ginger vinaigrette (serves 4)
2 cups peeled and cubed beets (about 5 whole beets)
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp honey
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss beets with two tablespoons and spread evenly along the bottom of a well greased baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until fork tender.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together pomegranate juice, vinegar, honey and grated ginger in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about three minutes until juice begins to bubble and thicken slightly. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Pour over roasted beets and serve.