A jewel of a seasonal side dish

Red, red, as far as the eye can see.

Red, red, as far as the eye can see. by Sarah Henning

Given it’s the week before Thanksgiving, chances are you’re thinking a bit about the big ol’ dinner that we all have on the final Thursday of the month.

My husband and I host Thanksgiving each year at our house, but the cooking is left to my dad, who ties on an apron and takes over all the duties that day. Basically, the rest of us clear out and let him do his thing.

That said, I like to contribute something aside from my kitchen and a fridge full of ingredients. So, I tend to make a side or dessert ahead of time to add to the heap of traditional fare my dad pulls out of his hat.

Last year, it was these awesome Sneaky Pumpkin Pie Bars. And they were so fabulous, I’m sure they’ll be hitting the table yet again this year.

But I also wanted to make a little something else as a side. This desire, plus the fact that I actually got to go to the grocery store by myself, led me to a moment where I could just wander the produce aisle, dreaming up Thanksgiving Day combinations to my heart’s content.

The result of this kid-free bit of peace was the following recipe, something I’m calling Garnets and Rubies.

It makes use of two of the season’s best fresh ingredients and is so pretty you might not want to eat it.

But you should, because it’s mildly addictive. In fact, I posted the above photo of it to Instagram, and one of my followers tagged me back with a picture of her own version that night. In her words, “It’s weird at first, and then suddenly I’m devouring it.”

Yep.

So, if you’re still looking for a side to bring or make for Thanksgiving, or just in the market for something fun to have with dinner, definitely give this one a try. It’s simple, looks elegant and the amount of folate and vitamin C here is off the charts.

Garnets and Rubies

2 bunches red beets

2 large pomegranates

Red wine vinegar

First, roast the beets: Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut off greens and use for another recipe or discard. Scrub beets clean and dry. Wrap unpeeled beets in foil and place on a cookie sheet. Roast for 45 minutes. When they’re finished, pull them out of the oven and use an oven mitt to open the foil packages to help them cool off. When completely cool, use a knife to skim off the stem and the ends, then chop into half-inch to quarter-inch pieces.

Next, seed to pomegranates: Fill a medium mixing bowl about halfway with water. Score your pomegranates four or five times and then cut off the very top of the fruit. Plunge each pomegranate in water and work open each of the scored sections. Began seeding the pomegranate. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the water and the bitter pith will float. When all your seeds have been removed, rinse them in a colander and remove any remaining pith.

To assemble: Place cooled beets in a medium serving bowl. Top with pomegranate seeds as artfully as you can. Splash on red wine vinegar to taste. Serves four.

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