A Seasonal Side Dish . . . Citrus-Maple Roasted Beets & Apples with Maple Walnuts

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Now, that is a mouthful of a name and even a bigger and more delicious mouthful to taste!  Yes, I will have this seasonal side dish sitting on my holiday table, for sure!  It is a delicious explosion of seasonal ingredients . . . the flavors, the scent, the colors . . . all embracing the harvest of the Fall!  And BONUS . . . it is so simple to make yet looks so elegant.  A seasonal side dish that doesn’t only taste great but dresses up your holiday meal.  Who doesn’t just love elegance with simple ease?  And nobody has to know . . . they can simply be impressed by your cooking and wowed by the taste.  It’s a win, win!!
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Thinking of the beet and all the possibilities of this rich, earthy, deep root vegetable is so entertaining.  However, as I kid, I was not a fan of the beet and actually avoided it . . . maybe even claimed “I hated it!”  It was intimidating . . . and now I welcome it constantly into my kitchen.  Why?  Who cares . . . I now embrace the beetroot.  My favorite way of eating a beetroot is roasting it.  I just love how it caramelizes . . . as if it turns into candy!  But I did not want just beets . . . on this night.  Rather, I wanted a side dish that showcased the beet but had other seasonal ingredients that helped to elevate this dish . . . make it a REAL Fall Holiday Side Dish.  A seasonal dish to remember . . . and absolutely love!  Yes, the beet is the centerpiece of this dish but all the other ingredients are by no means less important.  It is the whole cast of ingredients that make this side dish . . . dare I say, “sensational”!
The beets are there in all their deep redness . . . now add some chunks of apple to bring in the flavor of a Fall orchard.  Then, take it up a notch with the zest and juice of an orange to freshen the whole dish.  The splash of pure maple syrup deepens the whole caramelization of the dish.  Spice it all up with a generous sprinkling of ground ginger.  Scattering fresh parsley on top to brighten the dish with some green goodness.  And lastly, turn this seasonal side dish into complete decadence with Maple Walnuts surrounding the plate.  Now, we are talking a seasonal side dish . . . with flair!
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Citrus-Maple Roasted Beets & Apples with Maple Walnuts 
 
3 medium beets, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Orange, zest and juice of half
sprinkling of ground ginger, pink sea salt and black pepper
 
Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
Wash, trim and chop beets and apple into large chunks.
Toss with maple syrup, olive oil, ground ginger, salt and pepper.
Transfer to a parchment lined baking tray and roast for about 30 minutes.
Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with fresh parsley and Maple Walnuts . . . with fork in hand, dive in and be wowed!
*Maple Walnuts
1 cup walnuts
4 heaping teaspoons maple syrup
Sprinkling of cayenne pepper and coarse sea salt 
Place on a parchment lined baking tray in a 350F/180C oven for about 8 minutes.
Walnuts will harden and become crunchy as they cool.
Store extras in a glass jar.  They are delicious as a snack and a gorgeous addition to green leafy salads!
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To giving thanks to the harvest of the season . . . one Citrus-Maple Roasted Beet & Apple all topped with a Maple Walnut bite (or mouthful) at a time!  Hugs, M.

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