MARINATED SPRING BEETS + POLENTA

Sweet springtime beets, elegant purple asparagus and savory white beans marinated in tangy white wine, roasted garlic vinaigrette served over cheesy, creamy, chive polenta. This plate is all about balance and it is SAT-IS-FY-ING.

INGREDIENTS

2 beets (I used a red and a golden)
2 garlic cloves
1/4t thyme
2T olive oil

1/2 bundle of asparagus, end chopped off (I used some purple asparagus)
1T olive oil

3T white wine vinegar (red wine would work too)
1/2t honey
1T olive oil
1/2c white beans

3c water
1/2t salt
1c polenta
1t butter
3T provolone, shredded (parm would work here too)
1/4c cream cheese
2T gorgonzola cheese, crumbled – optional
2T chives, chopped

A little extra gorgonzola for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F. Make a foil packet for each beet with a garlic clove, thyme, olive oil and salt and pepper (separating them is just for color, if you don’t care if your golden beet turns pink just make 1 packet). Seal the packet so that the beets can steam a bit. Bake for 45 minutes then open them up and stick a fork in the beets, if theres no resistance, they’re done, let them cool. If not, put them back in the oven for 20-30 more minutes and check again. Once the beets are cool enough to touch, use a paper towel to wipe off the skins and chop them up. I put them in separate bowls so the colors don’t bleed. This whole part can easily be done ahead of time OR just buy some pre-roasted beets.

Put asparagus on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and some salt and pepper. Bake for 6-10 minutes depending on thickness. Add to the bowl with red beets.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the roasted garlic cloves from the beet packet, vinegar and honey. Add olive oil and whisk some more. Pour evenly over the two beet bowls, add white beans to the golden beets and toss each bowl to coat. Allow to marinate while you make the polenta.

Bring water to a boil, add salt then slowly whisk in the polenta. Reduce the temperature to med-low and stir vigorously. Put a lid on and stir occasionally fo the next 10-15 minutes, until cooked. Remove from heat, stir in butter and cheeses then the chives and a little black pepper. Serve it up and top with beets, beans, asparagus and a little extra gorgonzola if you’ve got it.

ENJOY!

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