Beets n’ Bacon

One bunch fresh beets (about 1-1.5 pounds)

1/4 pound bacon

1 cup mozzarella

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 Tablespoon sugar (raw if you have it)

Remove the greens from the beets and save for steaming later, if desired.

Prepare the beets by washing and removing all but 1/4 inch of the tops and most of the root.  

Place the trimmed beets in a large sauce pan and add enough water to generously cover them. Simmer the beets until they are tender- watching them closely to be sure they don’t boil over (this can take about 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the beets).    

When the beets are tender, remove from the heat, drain the  liquid, rinse the beets with a little cold water and set them aside until they are cool enough to be handled but not cold.  Once they are cooled a bit, move the the rest of the tops, the rest of the root and then the skin and then slice each beet into 1/4 inch slices.  

While the beets are boiling, fry the bacon until crisp and remove it from the pan, reserving about a tablespoon of the drippings.

Use a small amount  of the bacon drippings to coat the bottom of a small casserole dish (I use my 9.5 x 7.5 pyrex baking dish).  Layer the sliced beets into the coated casserole and set aside.  

Toss the pecans into the pan that you used to fry the bacon in (along with the remaining bacon drippings) and toast the pecans in the pan for about a minute, stirring constantly so that they don’t burn, when they are lightly toasted, sprinkle the sugar over the pecans being sure to continue tossing the nuts so that they become covered with meted sugar.  Remove the toasted nuts from the heat, then break the crisp bacon into little bits and add it to the nut-sugar mixture.

Sprinkle 1/2 of the parmesan over the beets, sprinkle all of the mozzarella over this, sprinkle the remainder of the parmesan over the mozzarella and then top the cheeses with the candied nuts/bacon mixture.  

Bake on 350 until the cheese is bubbling and then crank up the oven to broil for the last few moments so the the cheese gets a nice brown top.