I made this old favorite for dinner tonight and ate everything while still slightly warm. The combination of beets, carrots, shallots, and parsley is tasty and absolutely gorgeous to look at.
10 medium beets (red and golden), cleaned, trimmed
5 TBSP plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup water
6 medium carrots with green tops
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 TBSP red wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large)
4 tsp fresh lemon juice, divided
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place beets in roasting pan; drizzle 2 TBSP olive oil over. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt; toss. Add 2/3 cup water to pan; arrange golden beets on 1 side of pan and red beets on other side. Cover with foil. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim green tops from carrots to 1 inch and wash. Cut carrots into thirds crosswise, then quarter lengthwise. Place carrots on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 TBSP olive oil and sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Roast until carrots are tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool carrots and beets.
Using gloved fingers, rub peel off beets. Cut each beet into 6 wedges or a similar size to the carrot pieces. Place golden beets in medium bowl and red beets in another medium bowl.
Stir cumin seeds in dry skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer 3/4 tsp cumin seeds to mortar or spice mill; grind finely. Place remaining whole cumin seeds in mortar and crush slightly, to release aromatic flavor. Put crushed cumin seeds, ground cumin, and vinegar in small bowl; whisk in 1/2 cup oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Beets, carrots, and vinaigrette can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill. Bring all to room temperature and rewhisk vinaigrette before continuing.
Add parsley, shallots, 2 tsp lemon juice, carrots, and 2/3 of cumin vinaigrette to bowl with golden beets; toss to blend. Add remaining vinaigrette and 2 tsp lemon juice to bowl with red beets; toss to blend. Season both beet mixtures with salt and pepper. Note: once you combine the beets and carrots, the red beets will begin to stain the carrots and the golden beets.
Adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2006
Roasted Beets and Carrots with Cumin Vinaigrette
Makes 6 servings.