Roasted Beet, Turnip and Chickpea Salad

14 Dec

Don’t you love it when your meal is both jam-packed with flavor and incredibly healthy?  I do.  It doesn’t hurt when the smell of whatever you’re cooking – in this case, roasting beets and turnips – is mouth-wateringly divine.  This dish filled the entire house with an earthy, garlic-y aroma that had my tummy rumbling two hours before we normally eat dinner.  The aroma did not over-hype this dish, either.  This dish had a perfect mix of sweet, citrus-y, spicy, and creamy.  From here on out, I’m going to be making an effort to cook with a lot less cholesterol, so I’m trying to find ways to pack in the flavor without using as much meat, cheese, egg yolks, and all those other oh-so-delicious and oh-so-artery-clogging treats.  This dish certainly did the trick.

Roasted Beet, Turnip and Chickpea Salad

2 large beets, scrubbed clean, greens and scraggly tips removed, greens reserved

5 baby turnips, scrubbed clean, trimmed

1 large long white turnip, scrubbed clean, cut into 1″ chunks (I think this was a turnip, anyway …)

2 tbs. olive oil

2 tsp. McCormick Grill Mates Tomato, Garlic, and Basil marinade

1 19 oz. can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)

3 cloves whole marinated garlic, roughly chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/3 cup Gouda cheese, finely shredded (If you leave this out, the dish is completely vegetarian)

Preheat oven to 375º.

Roll out two large sheets of tinfoil (about a foot long) and place them on top of one another.  Place beets and turnips on center of sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with McCormick’s marinade.  Using your hands, make sure the beets and turnips are evenly coated with olive oil and marinade seasonings.  Create a tinfoil packet for the beets by folding the top layer of tinfoil lengthwise, folding the edges over, and crimping.  Repeat with the bottom layer of tinfoil.  Just in case, place on a baking sheet to catch drippings.  Place beet and turnip package in oven and roast roughly one hour.  When cooked, a knife will be easily inserted into the largest part of the beets.

Meanwhile, clean beet greens.  Remove leaves from the tough center stems.  Remove toughest/woodiest parts of the stems and save for stock.  Roughly chop remaining greens and stems.  I only used the best looking greens and ribs, which came out to about 1 cup of ribs, chopped, and 5 cups packed of beet greens.

When beets are fully cooked, remove tinfoil packet from oven and carefully open (there will be steam, so watch out).  Pour olive oil, which should be infused with a lovely red from the beets and the marinade, into a separate container.  Once cool enough to handle, slip off skins of beets.  Once all ingredients can be safely handled, dice all ingredients into 1/2″ cubes.  You may want to use a pair of latex gloves so as not to stain your fingers.

Heat a large pot of water over medium-high heat.  Add beet greens and blanch for 2 minutes, until tender.  Remove and transfer to a bowl of ice water.  Drain.

In a medium sauce pan or stock pot, heat reserved olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for until fragrant, 1-3 minutes.  Add beet greens and season with freshly cracked black pepper.  Cook until wilted and tender, stirring often, 5-8 minutes.  Add chickpeas, roasted vegetables, crusted red pepper flakes and lemon juice and stir to coat with olive oil and evenly distribute ingredients.  Cook over medium heat until all ingredients are heated through, roughly 5 minutes.  Top with shredded gouda.

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