2 – 2-1/2 pounds of beets
Vegetable oil such as avocado oil or olive oil plus additional oil as needed
2 tablespoons or more fresh lemon juice
1 – 2 tablespoons tangerine or orange juice
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange or tangerine
1/4 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract
salt and freshly cracked white or black pepper
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh cream or milk
fresh mint finely minced
Heat oven to 375 – 400 degrees F
Wash beets and remove root end, leaves and tops, then cut into quarters. Place beets in a baking dish and add enough oil so that beets are well oiled on cut sides and there is enough oil that they don’t stick to the baking dish.
Roast the beets, basting them every 20 minutes or so with the oil, until they knife tender when tested but not super soft.
Remove the beets from the oven and allow to cool until they are easy to handle. Remove their skins then cut them in chunks and place in a medium-sized bowl. Pour any leftover oil into a small bowl, adding more oil if needed to make dressing.
Add lemon juice, orange or tangerine juice, citrus zest, vanilla, and salt and pepper. If the dressing is too acidic, add a small pinch of sugar and whisk. Pour over warm beets.
In another bowl, whisk the ricotta cheese with cream or milk until the ricotta is smooth and creamy. Add finely minced mint.
Serve the beets at room temperature or chilled, with the ricotta on the side. You can also place the beets on individual small plates with a base of baby greens. Add an ample spoon full of ricotta to each plate.