1 lb (500 g) small red beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1 tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (1 ml) salt
4 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
2 tbsp (25 ml) minced shallots
2 tbsp (25 ml) balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp (25 ml)) chopped fresh mint
1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml) pepper
1/2 cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
Line rimmed baking sheet with large piece of foil. Arrange beets snugly in one layer in centre of foil; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay thyme sprigs over beets. Fold foil tightly to enclose beets in package.
Roast in 400 F (220 C) oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool and peel. (Beets can be covered lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before continuing with recipe.)
Mint Vinaigrette: In wet measure or bowl, whisk together shallots, vinegar, mint, mustard, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in oil until emulsified. (Vinaigrette can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Whisk to recombine and bring to room temperature.)
Using cheese slicer, mandolin or chef’s knife, slice beets very thinly. Arrange slices, slightly overlapping, on salad plates. Drizzle vinaigrette over beets. Garnish with Parmesan curls and mint leaves. Makes 4 servings.
Green Beans with Garlicky Toasted Bread Crumbs *Originally posted here
In skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until garlic is softened. Stir in 1/4 tsp (1 ml) of the salt and the hot pepper flakes. Stir in bread crumbs. Toast bread crumbs, shaking pan often, until oil has been absorbed and crumbs have turned golden, 8 to 10 minutes. (Crumbs can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Store at room temperature lightly covered with waxed paper.)
Add remaining oil to skillet; stir in anchovy paste, if using. Add green beans; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until starting to turn golden. Pour in 1/2 cup (125 ml) water, remaining salt and the pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly; simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover pot and cook for 7 to 10 minutes longer or until any excess liquid has evaporated and green beans are very tender. Remove to warmed serving platter. Sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs. Makes 8 servings.
And after putting all the work into making your main and sides, there’s no shame in buying a dessert. To be honest, this could save you from running around like a crazy person and actually sitting down to enjoy the company of your guests!