Our local farmer’s markets are just loaded with beets right now. To take advantage of them I’ve been making this roasted beet salad at least once a week.
2-3 bunches of beets
Baby lettuce or mixed greens
Kosher or sea salt
Shallot vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Roasting the Beets
Roasting is not only dead-simple, but it also gives them a deep, rich, sweet flavor.
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Trim all but about an inch or so of greens off of beets and rinse/scrub to clean any dirt off of them. Lightly oil a shallow baking pan. Arrange the beets in the pan, drizzle with a little olive oil (use a oil sprayer better coverage, for fewer calories) and sprinkle with salt. Give the pan a shake to coat the beets.
Cover the pan with a layer of aluminum foil and seal tightly. Put the pan in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Check beets and give pan another shake. Roast until beets and tender and pierce easily with a fork (about another 20-30 minutes).
When done, remove pan from oven, uncover, and let cool for 30 minutes.
Peel the beets under cool running water, using your hands to slip the skin off. Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to trim off any remaining stems or bad spots.
I was able to score both red and yellow beets (which have a slightly sweeter, more buttery taste). When cleaning them, try to keep the two separate and be careful with the red beets as they will stain everything.
Slice the beets and refrigerate until you are ready to use them.
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium shallot, quartered
Put the salt and shallot in a food processor and give it a whirl until the shallot is minced. Add the vinegar and let stand for 15 minutes – this is very important as this macerates the shallots and makes the sweet instead of sharp.
After the shallots and vinegar have rested, add the mustard and pulse to combine. With the processor running, pour in 2 or 3 drops of the oil, then continue pouring the oil in a thin stream until all the oil is emulsified into the vinaigrette. Taste and season with pepper and more salt if needed.
Composing the Salad
Because the beet juices will make everything a unappealing purple if mixed, this is a some-assembly-required salad. Arrange a layer of greens on a plate (fresh baby lettuce from our bowl on the deck, in this case). Top with sliced beets and crumbles of goat cheese. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve.
The sweetness of the beets plays nicely with the sharpness of the greens and cheese, and the vinaigrette does great job of blending the two.
This is a really versatile salad. It works as a first course, but also stands up well to almost any meat you want to pair with it. I’ve served it alongside scallops and steak and it held it’s own with both. Add some slivered almonds or cashew halves to this and I could see it as a light lunch too.
With a tablespoon of vinaigrette, this salad is only 4 Weight Watcher’s points and 150 calories.
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