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October marks the beginning of the season when our bodies crave warmth. It’s the time when we put our ovens to work: to roast, braise, slow-cook, and bake. We can get beets all year round, but they’re the sweetest and most tender from April through October – that’s the time to eat them raw. When the temperatures drop, however, the best treatment for bigger, bulbous beets is to cut them into chunks or wedges and cook them. Roasting preserves their color, and shorter cooking times preserve their phytonutrients.
Why we love this recipe:
- Beets pack a healthy punch of folate, potassium, and fiber, in addition to their unique combination of antioxidants and a special compound responsible for beets’ earthy taste called geosmin.
- By slicing into wedges first, the beets cook faster. This not only helps with time but also cuts down on phytonutrients lost during cooking.
- When sesame seeds are ground into oil, butter, or paste (as in tahini), the body has an easier time digesting and absorbing its nutrients.
Roasted Squash and Beets in Tahini Sauce (From the book Against All Grain)
- 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
- 1 lb golden beets, peeled and cut into ½” wedges
- 2½ Tablespoons melted ghee or coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons tahini (stir well before measuring, as the paste tends to separate from the oil in its container)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons shelled raw pistachios
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) In a large bowl, toss together all of the ingredients except the pistachios.
3) Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4) Roast for 25 minutes. Stir and rotate the pan halfway through.
5) Remove from oven, stir in the pistachios, and serve.
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