Balsamic Beet Pizza

This past week I got inspired by a beet recipe, Balsamic-Glazed Beets with Pecans, from Eating Well magazine.  We have been receiving lots of beets from our weekly produce box and I get tired of making things over and over again the exact same way.  I decided that this beet recipe would be the best pizza topping on earth.

So, I mixed up a double batch of my best.pizza.crust.ever, however, this time I used 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of all-purpose flour.  It was a nice whole grain taste, without being too dry.   By the way, the Norpro silicone pastry mat (above) gets used all the time in my kitchen – it is perfect for kneading, rolling dough, and measuring the size.

I glazed the beets the day before, but also added a small yellow onion to the Eating Well recipe.  I added an extra tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to make sure it was saucy enough for a pizza topping, as I was not planning on using tomato sauce for the beet pizza.  I left off pecans, due to personal preferences in my household, however, I would add them were I making this just for myself!

beet pizza

I like to make amoeba-shaped pizzas – they are more interesting to look at.  I topped the beet pizzas with crumbled goat cheese, sliced jalapeño peppers, and sliced beet greens.

I made 6 pizzas total, out of whatever veggies we had laying around.  These were the perfect kitchen sink pizzas.

tomato pizza

Pizza on left: tomato sauce, pizza seasoning, sliced sweet peppers, sliced swiss chard, and crumbled feta cheese.  Pizza on the right: tomato sauce, pizza seasoning, sliced grape tomatoes, sliced shallot, beet greens, and crumbled feta cheese.

cheese.pepperpizza

The last pizza was for the kids and topped with: tomato sauce, pizza seasoning, sliced sweet yellow peppers, and grated cheddar cheese.

I baked all pizzas at 425° for 14-17 minutes, or till cheese was melted.
beet.pizza.slices

All of these pizzas were delectable – but the beet pizza was by far my favorite.  The combination of vinegar, beets, onion, crispy greens, soft goat cheese, and chewy crust was perfection.  I will be making this again, with my next batch of beets!

Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

beet.salad

Let me preface this post by saying I am honestly not much of a salad person. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat them, order them at restaurants, but I rarely make them myself. This is for a few reasons: 1. I always seem to forget about the greens in my fridge and they turn to black sludge. 2. There are millions of others types of foods I would rather try making. 3. Salads never fill me up. 4. I’d rather make salad from during fresh from the garden season, not the grocery store.

I recently went to the Des Moines Art Center’s cafe – Baru at the Art Center – for lunch with family and a salad on the menu piqued my interest.  I liked it so much that I actually thought about it a few times since then, and decided to make my own version of it, tweaking it slightly.  I made it last week for a dinner with friends and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  It is one I will make again once the farm-fresh home-grown produce comes in.

This recipe can be done in stages.  I roasted the beets the previous day, so they could chill in the fridge before combining them with the rest of the salad makings. I did not specify exact amounts with the goat cheese, lettuce, and pecans, as I figured these are a matter of taste.  I did use a standard-sized box of mixed greens from the grocery store, for my recipe.

Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Peel and dice 2-3 medium beets into 1-inch chunks. Spread into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once.

2. Once beets are cooked, remove from pan and chill.

3. To prepare salad, combine in a large bowl: mixed greens, 1/4 – 1/2 of small red onion, thinly sliced, and roasted beets.

4. Top with crumbled goat cheesepecan halves, and honey balsamic vinegar dressing (see below).

Honey Balsamic Vinegar Dressing 

1. Combine in a jar: 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1-2 teaspoons honey, ground black pepper.  Place lid on jar, shake thoroughly.