I've admitted this before, and I'll gladly admit it again: sometimes I get a little carried away buying foods that are pretty and/or cute. Put me in a farmers' market and watch out. I'll excuse and pardon my way through a crowd in 3 seconds flat to get at those electric orange heirloom tomatoes, adorable baby bok choy, and ruby red rhubarb. With not a farmers' market in sight in the winter months, you can often find me gazing longingly at the fruits and veggies in Whole Foods. While my quirky habit often leaves me with a lot to display in the fruit bowl, there are times when creating a meal out of my erratic purchases poses quite the challenge. Yesterday's shopping spree is the perfect example. After gleefully hopping my way through WhoFoNo, I walked out with golden beets and brussels sprouts. Peering into my "I Love Veggies" bag when I got home, I thought two things: "Oh, those really are pretty... I'm glad I bought them!" and "Wait a second, where was I going with that again?!" After repeating this scenario so many times, I've learned that, once in a while, my unexpected pairings actually create new personal favorites. Thus, I decided to make the most out of my new golden and green friends.
Linguine Agliolio with Golden Beets and Brussels Sprouts (Serves 2 - 4)
* 3 medium golden beets, washed with stems trimmed
* 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
* 8 ounces brussels sprouts
* 2 shallots, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
* ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
* ¼ cup dry white wine
* sea salt, to taste
* 8 oz linguine, cooked according to package instructions with ½ cup pasta water reserved
* 4 oz Drunken Goat goat's cheese (Murcia, Spain)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place beets in baking dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 60 - 75 minutes (patience is a virtue) or until beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Let beets cool. Peel beets (skins should peel right off after all that roasting) and cut into small cubes. Set aside.
While beets are roasting, wash, trim, and halve the brussels sprouts. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in nonstick skillet and add shallots and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add halved brussels sprouts, thyme, crushed red pepper, and a dash of sea salt. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add white wine and continue to cook sprouts for 10-15 minutes longer or until tender and golden. Add golden beet pieces, toss to coat, and season with sea salt and additional crushed red pepper, if desired.
Toss linguine and brussels sprouts mixture together, adding the reserved pasta water as needed. Divide among plates, drizzle with olive oil, top with shavings of cheese, and serve immediately.This dish is a wonderful way to welcome spring into your home again. The sweetness of the golden beets meshes well with the heartiness of the brussels sprouts and the Drunken Goat cheese brings the dish together with its savoriness. If you're not a pasta fan, try remixing this dish with quinoa or cous cous.