It’s another sad, cold, rainy “spring” day in New York. I am hesitant to even say spring. I’ve been told by multiple people that winter is technically over, but we’ve had a few teaser days of sunshine here in between what seems like endless dreariness. It really takes a toll on your morale, I’ll say that. Getting up and getting ready for work is definitely harder, anyway. My brain wants my body to get out of bed, but there’s only gray and it makes that harder. It probably doesn’t help that my aesthetic leans more towards neutrals, also, so my apartment isn’t exactly a bustling ray of sunshine. BUT NO MATTER. We’re headed on vacation tomorrow! A real, long, non-working vacation. Well, maybe I’ll squeeze in a little work, but that’s only because I actually like my job and shooting my friends eating food at a market barely qualifies as work. BUT. You’re probably wondering where we’re going, and the answer is Singapore! Then Vietnam! I am equally excited about both, though if you know me, and you know my love of Anthony Bourdain, and you know that two of his favorite places are Singapore and Vietnam, then you can only imagine how intense my excitement actually is. I’ve wanted to go to both of these places for a very long time, and I can hardly believe it’s finally happening. I can’t wait to browse through the hawker centers of Singapore or sit on a chair outside and eat fresh noodles swimming in rich broth in Ho Chi Minh City. Will travel for food. We have some friends in Singapore, so I’m excited to have some people there to show us around, and then we’ve gotten some great tips on things to do and places to eat in Ho Chi Minh from some friends of friends who live there, but of course, I am always open to hearing any suggestions you might have. Lay ’em on me! We’ll be traveling for around 30 hours tomorrow, so I’ll have LOTS of time to look into more things to do.
In honor of this trip, I’m posting yet another recipes from Appetites. This one is simple, but eye-opening all the same. I roast beets a lot at home. Kramer used to hate them, but in the past few years, he really came around to them and now they’re one of his favorite vegetables (much like eggplant, which he is also a huge fan of now). Typically, I’ll just roast them in some olive oil and then add some salt or maybe ricotta or something simple like that, and these are still simple, but the bite of cider vinegar, the crunch of the red onions, and the brightness of the fresh oranges really transform this staple into a more exciting dish that I can’t wait to devour. I could easily eat two servings of this in one sitting, especially with some wilted greens or maybe a piece of fish. It’s light enough to keep you going back for more, but obviously, seeing as how it’s beets, it’s not going to make you feel bad about having a second helping. Bourdain says in the book that his daughter absolutely loves this dish and he makes it for her all the time. Smart girl.
Roast + toss = you’re done.
You’ve really got to make this soon.
- 1 pound baby beets (6-8 beets), scrubbed and trimmed (you can, of course, sub in regular beets here, though the cooking time may increase slightly)
- 2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
- ½ medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a combination of both red and white)
- 1 navel orange, peeled and cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick wheels
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 12 fresh mint leaves, torn (optional - I used dried mint)
- small pinch of salt
- a few turns of freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the beets in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of oil, and roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes (I covered mine with foil so that the skins would peel away more easily). Once the beets are tender enough for a paring knife to slip easily into the center, remove from the oven and let them cool. Once cool, the skins will peel away easily.
- When cooled, slice the beets into ¼-inch thick slices. Place in a mixing bowl with the onion, orange, vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, and mint. Season with your salt and pepper, taste, and serve.