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  • Thyme-Roasted Beets with Bacon Popcorn

    Thyme-Roasted Beets with Bacon Popcorn

    I have always thought that beets and corn taste very good together. So I thought instead of using regular corn, what if I used popcorn in a beet salad? I figured the popcorn would add a starchy element and the sweetness of the popcorn and beets would contrast nicely with the saltiness of bacon, too.

    Servings & Time

    • Servings 4
    • Prep 20 minutes
    • Cook 2 hours

    Ingredients

    For the Beets
    • 2 large red beets, scrubbed and washed (about 8 ounces)
    • 2 large yellow beets, scrubbed and washed (about 8 ounces)
    • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 3 jalapeño chile peppers (with seeds), diced large
    • 6 whole cloves
    • 5 bay leaves
    • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
    • Kosher salt, to taste
    • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
    • Coarse black pepper to taste
    For the Bacon Popcorn
    • 2 cups popped popcorn
    • 4 slices bacon
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

    Method

    For the Beets

    Preheat the oven to 345ºF. In a medium bowl, toss the beets, 5 sprigs thyme, jalapeño, cloves, bay leaves, and 2 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil and sprinkle with salt.

    Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons water. Cover with foil and roast for 2 hours. Check the beets by inserting a small knife into one of them; if it goes in easily, the beets are done. If not, return to the oven to roast for another 20 to 30 minutes. Let the beets cool slightly, then peel and chop into ½-inch dice (about the size of the popcorn). Set aside.

    Remove the leaves from the remaining sprig of thyme and combine with the ricotta and remaining 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil.

    For the Bacon Popcorn

    In a large skillet, cook the bacon over a medium flame until crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet, reserving the fat in the pan. Let the bacon cool slightly, then chop very finely so it is almost a dust.

    In a large bowl, toss the popcorn with 1 teaspoon of the bacon fat and sprinkle with the bacon dust.

    To Serve

    Divide the beets among 4 serving plates. Scatter the ricotta mixture around the beets and sprinkle the bacon popcorn on top. Lastly, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.

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