Roasted Beets with Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese & Sprouts
For the first time in a long time, I have time, and I’m not sure I like it. Well, sort of. This fall is the first time since I was four that dropping temps didn’t mean heading back to school for me. I’ve moved home to look for a job, which I should definitely be doing more than I am. But I’m trying to force myself to pause for a minute before jumping back into busy, rat-race mode. Because it’s hard to do that, no? It seems we’ve all been trained that if we’re not busy, we’re doing something wrong. Talking about how busy you are is almost a bragging thing. I have found not being busy stressful, and sometimes feel like I need to explain my abundance of free time, as if I’m wrong or bad to be taking it. So I’m trying to embrace it a little, and to be ok with taking a beat.
Hitting the mental pause button has forced me to take in the world around me in a way I generally don’t during my day-to-day. The morning glories in my garden look different every single day, and I have found myself actually noticing, whereas during busier times when I have “more important things to do,” I assuredly would have blown right past them without noticing that their blue blossoms have begun to take on a purple tint. I realize I’m very fortunate to be able to take this pause, so I’m trying to remind myself to be grateful not only for that privilege, but for all the beautiful things in my life I take for granted.
Thinking about time and my (and our society’s in general) unwillingness to “waste” it brings me around to my favorite cooking method: roasting. Roasting takes time. You simply cannot rush it, or it just won’t work. Which, as a general principle, drives me batty. My single biggest cooking sin is that of not being patient enough. I move things around the pan too much, I take things out too early– I can’t stand the standing around and waiting part. I have to have SOMEthing to do. But when you’re roasting, you just have to wait. While I’m skeptical about the phrase, “good things come to those who wait,” I’m working on accepting the idea that good things come to those who pause. Who are okay with having nothing to do for a little while, and just being alone with their thoughts and the world around them. Who can let a beet and a head of garlic get magically caramelized in a toasty oven without crawling up the walls for lack of “busyness.”
Roasted Beets with Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese Spread
- 1 (or more) head(s) Garlic
- 3 ounces Goat Cheese
- 1 (or more) Beet(s)
- Handful of Alfalfa Sprouts
To roast garlic & make the goat cheese spread:
Preheat oven to 400. Peel away outer layers of garlic head, but leave intact. Cut off a bit of the head at the top, exposing the tops of the cloves. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, then wrap in aluminum foil. Roast, checking after 45 min– the garlic should be totally soft, but you can keep roasting after that to caramelize it more (just make sure to keep an eye on it)!
Once cloves have cooled, squeeze cloves from the bottom up to release the garlic, and mash with goat cheese (use a small drizzle of olive oil to help smooth the spread out if needed).
To roast beets:
Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Give beets a good scrubbing, then drizzle with olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast until soft– I usually start checking after about 30 minutes, but it always takes longer than that!
*Note: I leave the skins on to get all the nutrients locked up in there, but if you prefer not to eat the skins, they will slide right off after the beets have been roasted.
To assemble, slice beets, add a schmear of goat cheese, and top with a big ole pile of alfalfa sprouts. Easy peasy.