Years ago, I worked for a restaurant/catering outfit based in Palo Alto, California. With an abundance of organic, local produce to feature on their menu, they often used very simple preparations to give the veggies their well-deserved spotlight. Guests’ eyes would light up when they saw the heaping platters of al dente, lightly seasoned vegetables — fat carrot sticks and quartered baby turnips were a couple of my favorites.
In a similar vein, I present to you these lovely marinated yellow baby beets. I tossed them in white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, then added a touch of cumin. You could salt and pepper them too, but I like the simplicity of this dish — every ingredient has an important role to play. The sweetness of the beets is amplified by the vinegar, and the cumin adds a savory note, surprising but at once recognizable. Serve them as an appetizer or snack with a dish of toothpicks alongside, and sprinkle any leftovers on top of salads and rice bowls.
- 3 bunches yellow baby beets (about 15-20 beets)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the beets. Boil for about 20 minutes, or until you can easily pierce them with a fork.
- Drain and peel the beets — their skins will slide right off under cool, running water.
- Cut the beets into quarters and place in a medium bowl.
- Add the olive oil, vinegar, and cumin to the bowl of beets and stir to coat. Let marinate in fridge for at least two hours.
- Garnish with cilantro if desired and serve.