Monday, November 25, 2013

Friendships and Beets

I have to say I am extremely fortunate to be friends with a group of girls who I met in Kindergarten.  And when I say friends I don't just mean Facebook friends I mean real friends who I know I can always count on and trust.  Sure, I would say in the last almost 30 years we haven't always agreed but we have all seen each other through the tough times and triumphs of college, marriage, children, career changes, chasing dreams and simply life.  Of those five rare girlfriends that I have, I am proud of them and all of our accomplishments.  We have grown from six cute little girls who will always call Hershey, PA our home into a lawyer, a corporate queen, a writer, a children's photographer, a fashion guru and a dancer with a passion for food.  While I am living 3,000 miles away from them I think of them often and I am thankful for Facebook and other social media keeping us even better connected and updated on their cute kids, pictures of renovated kitchens, starting a new business and juggling it all at one time.  I am even more grateful for their continual support, creativity and inspiration.   

I was feeling a little out of ideas for this holiday season, especially after perusing through my Pinterest and seeing yet again another butternut squash recipe.  That was until my dear friend who I call the fashion guru, Erica (be on the look out for our new holiday joint post), sent me a lovely message through Instagram with this wonderful picture.  


Photo: Etsy.com

I have a real love for beets and thought why can't it be a holiday side dish.  With winter squashes stealing the holiday show (yes, I'm also a lover of squash too) I thought it may be nice to see these red beauties paired with some fresh green beans and topped with a creamy creme fraiche dressing.  Besides, this side dish can be made a day or two in advance and doesn't take up oven space the day of!  This dish is perfect for me and all of my amazingly wonderful (and busy) girlfriends.



Roasted Beets and Fresh Green Bean Salad with  Creamy Creme Fraiche Dressing





Ingredients
16 ounces green beans, washed and trimmed 
3-4 medium red beets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Dash salt and pepper
1/4 cup pistachio nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

First, prep the beets for roasting by placing the washed and dried beets onto a large piece of foil.  Drizzle the beets with the olive oil.  Wrap the beets in the foil and roast in the oven for 50 - 60 minutes until tender enough to poke through with a fork.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.  Once cool enough to handle peel the skin off the beets and slice into quaters.


In a small bowl combine the creme fraiche, whole grain mustard, yellow mustard, honey, and lemon juice.  Season with a dash of salt and pepper.  Set aside.

On a medium size platter place the fresh green beans and arrange the roasted beets on top.  Generously drizzle with the creme fraiche dressing.

Note: This dish can be served at room temperature or chilled.  The creme fraiche dressing can be made 1-2 days ahead and refrigerated.  Pistachios are also a great addition to this dish...I found this out in a later tasting, post photos.



Makes 4-6 servings.