Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Monday, October 2

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Comfort Me with Meatballs Apple Cider at Home »

Random Fri Nov 14 2008

An Open Letter to President-Elect Obama

I know that this week has done some serious prying into you and your family's personal life with questions like what kind of dog to buy for Malia and Sasha, who cuts your hair, and will your wife be as much of a style icon as Jackie Kennedy. But I read intently when it came to your preferred foods. You visit Spiaggia when you're celebrating? Nice, you're classy. You like Valois? Eh, well, I think a salt block from Home Depot tastes better than anything I've eaten there, but l respect you. I care about you. And I thought I understood you until I read that you don't like beets.

You don't like beets? Really?

I've spent years--really, years--trying to find a vegetable that I could eat without retreating to my room to listen to Joy Division on headphones afterward, lamenting these moments when routine bites hard and ambitions are low--so low, in fact, that the only green items I knew of in suburban Omaha, Nebraska (which just gave you one electoral vote, the first time a Dem has received one in 44 years, thank you) was an iceberg lettuce salad dotted with shaved radish and carrot. It sucked and I knew my future held something brighter--and redder.

Behold the beet. High in folic acid, potassium, calcium and antioxidants, this "super food" is like 80 vitamins in a sweet, baseball-sized nugget of goodness. And it's not just a gloomy, suspicious-looking bowl of borscht that display beets in all their nutritional glory; you can throw in those little rock stars into quesadillas, pasta, and sandwiches.

But the real match made in heaven is beets and goat cheese. The sweet crunch of the beet coupled with the slightly bitter creaminess of the cheese is the reason why I'm not entirely existing on donuts and apple cider. Here's a wonderful recipe for you to look at:

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
(Serves 4.)

4 medium beets - scrubbed, trimmed and cut in half
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 (10 ounce) package mixed baby salad greens
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces goat cheese

Place beets into a saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool, then cut in to cubes. While the beets are cooking, place the walnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat. Heat until warm and starting to toast, then stir in the maple syrup. Cook and stir until evenly coated, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing. Place a large helping of baby greens onto each of four salad plates, divide candied walnuts equally and sprinkle over the greens. Place equal amounts of beets over the greens, and top with dabs of goat cheese. Drizzle each plate with some of the dressing.

I know you're busy. You've got a lot of work to do and I care about your health. That's why you need to get on board with beets. You'll thank me. And yes, I AM available for a "Secretary of Pastry and Internet Surfing" position in your cabinet. You have my resume.

GB store

Heather / November 14, 2008 8:47 AM

Beets and Goat cheeze are a real match indeed....for more, check out

RueDee / November 24, 2008 9:23 PM

Drain a can of diced beets, add to chili mixture. You won't know the beets are there while benefiting from beet nutrition.

tiffany / September 22, 2009 4:39 AM

ugg boots

links of london / October 14, 2009 8:15 PM

It was a very nice idea! Just wanna say thank you for the information you have shared. Just continue writing this kind of post. I will be your loyal reader. Thanks again.

Gary / June 6, 2011 3:38 PM

This is an interesting recipe. The first time I ever had goat cheese was on italian food. It's an acquired taste I think. but I'm gonna try your recipe because it sounds slightly delicious. I'll let you know how it goes.

GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

GB store



Drive-Thru on Flickr

Join the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

About Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Robyn Nisi,
Drive-Thru staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15