Though fall is only a month way, I can already see subtle signs here. The leaves haven't changed as they would on the East Coast but the produce at the farmer's markets have started to change. This weekend, there were a lot more beets than usual along with a few pumpkins. Not a lot but it was still enough to remind me that summer will be over soon.
Colors always attract my attention, especially when they are all sorts of vibrant gifted. Both summer and fall are also full of various wonderful colors, so this combination of deep pinks with bright orange reminds me of this transitory period. This is one of those side dishes that you can prepare with ease and eat alongside any meal. I'm always fascinated by how different ingredients respond to the same cooking conditions in different ways. Beets and carrots are naturally sweet and when roasted oven their sugars will caramelize to give a delicious touch of complexity. Garlic on the other hand, when roasted becomes sweet and less harsh in flavor.
Be generous with the coriander when you season, a little extra doesn't hurt and you will love the aromatic fragrance that it brings to this dish. I love to eat this dish with a side of rice or a flat bread such as roti and a side of plain unsweetened yogurt. It's the perfect ode to the weather change and for things to come.
oven roasted beets and carrots with coriander
yields: 2-4 servings
6 medium sized beets
3 large carrots
1 garlic bulb
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, coarsely ground
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
a few sprigs of thyme (I used lemon thyme to garnish)
1. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.
2. Leave about an inch of the stems on the beets. Wash and wipe the beets dry. Peel the outer skin and discard. Cut the beets across the length into 8 sections. Place the beets in a large mixing bowl.
3. Peel the carrots, cut them in half and then slice them into 1/2 inch thick strips. Add the carrots to the beets in the bowl. Slice the garlic bulb in half and add both halves to the bowl. Add the coriander, black pepper, sea salt and olive oil. Toss gently to coat the vegetables evenly. Spread the mixture out evenly onto a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but the edges slightly crispy. The beets and carrots will get slightly blistered and the stems of the beets will be browned and crispy.
4. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Serve immediately.
Note: On sitting the vegetables can get slightly soft, I prefer to serve them fresh out of the oven because they have a wonderful combination of crispiness mixed in with the soft tender flesh. However, you can reheat these in the oven for about 5-10 minutes at 350F if they get a little soft.