Here's a fragrant addition to your crudités platter: roasted beet chips. Sliced beets are roasted with a little olive oil and sprinkled with rosemary and sea salt. The heat sweetens the beets and makes them crispy and the rosemary adds a savory note. Serve with cut veggies and blue cheese dip for a tasty way to get your "five a day" servings of vegetables.
Start with fresh red, yellow and red and white striped (chioggia) beets from the farmer's market or Whole Foods. I suggest keeping the red beet slices separate so they don't turn everything pink. Using a mandoline slicer here insures even cooking.
Roasted Beet Chips (serves 4)
8 beets (about 20 oz), peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and set aside.
Slice the beets 1/8 inch thick with a mandoline slicer or sharp knife. Place in a large bowl. Pour on the olive oil and toss to coat the slices.
Place beet slices close together on cookie sheet in a single layer (you may need two cookie sheets). The chips will shrink while they cook. Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes.
Check on beet chips at 20 minutes to see how they are crisping. They will darken as they bake but don't let them burn. I found checking them frequently and removing the ones that were browned and stiff while letting the rest bake worked best. The final chips will be stiff enough to hold dip but not as crisp as potato chips.
Remove chips from pan and sprinkle with salt and rosemary. Let cool. Chips will crisp more as they sit. Use immediately or save in an airtight container for up to a day. The chips also work well as a crunchy addition to salad.
Note: you can also fry the chips which will result in a crisper chip. See this recipe for details.
Blue Cheese Dip (makes about a cup)
1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
2/3 cup Veginase (or mayonnaise)
5 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 green scallion, minced
Salt, to taste
Combine all the ingredients except the salt and stir to blend. Add salt to taste. If you wish to use this as a salad dressing, add 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk.
Enjoy on the patio when the heat subsides for the day. Serve with fresh tomato gazpacho and sourdough baguettes for a delicious lunch or dinner.
A butterfly alights on a bouquet of true geranium (cranesbill)