I took a bunch – assuming that the collective noun for photographs is “bunch” – of photos for this post and then I spent another pot (I am winning at this grammar, right?) of time trying to make what I felt were the most *perfect* beetroot chips. Are they? Listen to this:
Not even close. So you know, I think it’s okay if the photos are true to the true nature of oven-almost-burnt-but-not-quite beet chips.
The last time or the time before I was here typing words into a blog post, I wrote about light. It’s this thing that takes up a lot of space on my phone’s memory. Every morning, I’ll try to walk through the house and open up all the blinds. Observing how the day looks out the window when I wake up is a ritual for me that has somehow become a comforting part of my morning. It’s just light but it’s moving and I can’t for the life of me seem to figure out why.
I’m going to say the word “spring” now and tell you that I’ve never enjoyed this season more now that I know I can grow things and not kill them. It’s true. It also happens to be the time when the light is at its most life-affirming (“I exist for a reason” “We are all stardust”….really). Most of my Instagram is just photos of be being SO EXCITED about all these light hours and especially so when it’s mellow and turns all the details on food into what can only be described as food seduction. Or leaf seduction…moss seduction? All of it.
I’m not sure who we have to thank for all this (wait for it) spring beauty. It’s there. I notice it and I just can’t help but feel giddy when it rains. None of what I do here is perfect. The real beauty is outside. It’s the only reason I can think of for spending the least possible amount of time EDITING PHOTOS (gahd) and eating more chips while looking outside at some silly dogs who find the best shady spots to watch the backyard and Matt’s lawn obsession come to life.
Beet chip toasts
Notes: When I make recipes like this, the goal is to be as easy on myself as possible by using what I have on hand. Actually, that’s how I always cook. Your biggest task in this recipe is roasting the beets to a crisp. So take your time doing it. Everything else can be prepped in advance. If you want to be an even smarter woman (or guy, hi!), buy some packaged vegetable chips and put everything else together in a snap. Another thing you could substitute: The bread for crackers.
For the balsamic reduction in this recipe, I simmered down 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp honey till it reduced by half. I have linked the recipe in the ingredients list. Make more if you’d like because it won’t go to waste. Think roasted strawberries over vanilla ice-cream and the honey balsamic on top.
- 1/2 kg or 1 lb beets
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 oz pack goat cheese, softened at room temperature
- Zest of 1/2 lemon, (LOL)
- Pinch of salt
- This recipe for honey balsamic reduction
- A loaf of crusty bread or a baguette, cut in slices and toasted (or crackers)
- Fresh thyme or your favourite fresh herbs, to garnish
Place two racks in the oven: One in the middle and one at the bottom. Heat the oven to a temperature of 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
Slice the beets to a thickness of 1/8 inches on a mandoline slicer and toss with the salt. Let them sit for 10 minutes and then drain them in a colander. Dab lightly with a paper towel and toss them to coat with olive oil.
Line the beet slices on the baking sheet (some overlap is okay) and place them in the middle rack of the oven. Cook for 10 minutes. Pull out the baking sheet and quickly flip the beet slices over. I recommend using tongs, or two forks. I just use my clean fingers because I live on the edge. Place the baking sheet back on the lower rack in the oven and cook for 7-10 minutes more. Keep and eye on the beets because they go from crisp to burnt very quickly. They are ready when they change colour from their usual deep purple to an almost pinkish-orangeish colour (see photos). Let them cool for them to crisp up. Store in an air-tight container if not using immediately. You may have to do this in batches depending on how big your baking sheet is.
Mix the goat cheese, lemon zest and salt in a small bowl and set aside. If making a day ahead, let it soften at room temperature before using.
Make the balsamic reduction according to the recipe instructions in the ingredients list.
Spread the goat cheese on the toasted bread and cover with beet chips. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction and top with fresh thyme and pepper.