I’m all moved now into my new place and christened it the other night by making a new dish. I hope this dish isn’t a foreshadow for what it will be like in this new apartment because the dish was only meh. Penne with Beets, Beet Greens, Goat Cheese and Walnuts. Sounds awesome, right? It wasn’t gross, but it wasn’t anything stellar. I did eat the entire thing though (well, I only made half a batch, but I got dinner and two lunches out of it). This recipe came from “The Flexitarian Table” by Peter Berley. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong or if his recipes are just on the range of meh to gross. I think this is the third thing I’m made from this cookbook, one of which came out gross (a curry lentil rhubarb dish), one of which was decent (an asian burdock and carrot dish), and then this one. I think I’ll make one or two more things before I decide if the book is a dud. Maybe this recipe just needs some tweeking that I’m not aware of. I think it could be stellar, but in it’s present form… not so much. So if you’ve got any ideas, I’d love to hear them.
Oh, and I ended up making this because I got a bunch of beets this weekend in my box and wanted to be able to use the beet greens right away and this was the best recipe I could find. At least so I thought.
Penne with Beets, Beet Greens, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts
This is my halved version with a few modifications
1 bunch beets, greens reserved (keep the stalks, they add a nice crunch), beets scrubbed
1/8 c olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp dried tarragon (maybe this is an area in need of improvement, the original calls for 1Tbsp fresh)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2oz goat cheese crumbled
1/8c heavy cream or creme fraiche
1/3c plus pecans (I never buy walnuts, but I almost always have pecans)
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Wrap beets in foil and bake about 45 min until thye can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife (and even if you think your beets are small, like mine were, they’ll still take close to 45 min).
3. Wash and drain beet greens. Cut into 1/2″ wide ribbons and set aside.
4. Unwrap beets, transfer to colander, and cool under cold running water. Slip off the skins and discard. Trim the ends of the beets and slice them into fat match sticks.
5. Boil your pasta water. Add the penne and cook to your liking.
6. While your pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add garlic, tarragon and pepper flakes, and cook stirring until the garlic is lightly colored, 1-2 min. Add the beets and greens and cook, stirring until the greens have wilted, 1-2 min.
7. Drain pasta. Realize it won’t in your skillet and put in a large bowl. Stir in goat cheese, cream, and beet mixture. Ignore the original instructions that mention simmering. There isn’t much to “simmer” any way. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Sprinkle with nuts and enjoy!