Serves 8 / Serve this beautiful side dish warm or cold. You can make the beets a day or two in advance to streamline day-of preparations.

2 pounds beets, halved if large
2 cloves garlic
1 Fresno chili pepper, roughly chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 orange, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Peel beets, then toss in a high-sided roasting dish with garlic, chili pepper, thyme, orange, and olive oil. Cook for about 1 hour, or until a knife inserted comes out easily. (If making in advance, cool and store all roasted ingredients in the refrigerator.)
2. When ready to serve, remove beets and slice into pieces about 1/3-inch thick. Toss beet slices with vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread on a plate and drizzle with crème fraîche. Sprinkle with chives.

Recipe provided by Hugo Matheson, chef and co-owner of The Kitchen, an ecoconscious eatery in Boulder, Colorado (www.thekitchencafe.com).



PER SERVING: 117 cal, 47% fat cal, 6g fat, 2g sat fat, 10mg chol, 2g protein, 14g carb, 4g fiber, 92mg sodium