The main reason cooking may seem daunting to some is because the recipe looks like a shopping list. Sometimes it’s just as frustrating for those who enjoy cooking when they stumble upon something that looks enticing, but even their stocked pantry is missing a few of the obscure ingredients. It is possible to create in the kitchen without feeling overwhelmed. Combine a few staples with a couple of extras, and you have magic ready to happen!
Most people have a few of these ingredients on hand at all times–olive oil, butter, a box of dried pasta and a few herbs. Half the battle has already been won if you want to try this dish. The leeks add a subtle, sweet onion flavor that deepens as it cooks down. The beets’ natural sweetness is enhanced by roasting. Combined with a little garlic, rosemary and fresh parsley over pasta, this is a warm side salad that would go nicely with a variety of meats or fish. And if you always keep a few of the basics on hand at all times, you can make something like this or your own spin off anytime.
Roasted Beets and Leeks Pasta Salad – Serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, sliced
3 beets, sliced
2 1/2 cups rainbow rotini pasta
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons rosemary, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1. Toss beet slices in 1 tablespoon olive oil and rosemary. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-18 minutes.
2. As beets cook, drop butter and remaining olive oil in a wide pan on the stove. Add leeks. Cover and allow to cook until they soften and begin to brown, approximately 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.
3. Meanwhile, start a pot of salted water boiling on the stove. Drop in pasta and cook according to package’s directions. Drain and set aside.
4. Once beets, leeks and pasta are done, mix to combine. Add remaining rosemary, garlic and parsley and toss well Salt to taste.
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