My sister in law was cooking dinner for her husband and her parents last weekend. Her mom is eating a lot of vegetarian dishes, and she wanted to make something flavorful and satisfying. I LOVE beet salads and I think they are the perfect addition to any meal. Not to mention, they are a beautiful vegetable. This recipe was giving to me by my mom. She has made it on several occasions including holidays. It’s the perfect holiday side. It’s quite easy, actually. I admit I was very intimidated about roasting beets for the first time, but once I learned how easy it was, I don’t hesitate to do it again. I have made this a few times, and it gets rave reviews every time…and you won’t believe how easy it actually is.
One tip: Invest in kitchen grade gloves. Peeling beets can turn your hands bright pinkish red and wearing kitchen gloves will allow you to return to dinner beet red free! Tiffany sent me her photos from her cooking excursion and I’m featuring them on this post. Thanks Tiff! So happy it turned out well!
For the Beets
1 bunch medium beets (about 3)
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Salad
10 ounces mixed greens (I like a blend of frisee, radicchio and mesclun)
3 ounces goat cheese
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
For the Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons honey
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (best quality, such as Pompeian Gourmet)
1½ tablespoons minced shallots
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
For the beets:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Wipe or scrub beets clean then trim stems down to one-inch (leave “tails” on). Place beets on a large piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil, then wrap foil around them to form a neat packet. Roast directly on rack in middle of oven until tender, about 1 hour. Test for doneness by piercing the largest beet with a knife. If it enters easily, it’s done. Unwrap beets and let sit until cool enough to handle. Use your hands or a paring knife to peel skin, then cut into ½-inch dice (I usually do this right on the aluminum foil but you can also use a stain-proof cutting board or plate). Set aside.
For the vinaigrette:
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. (Alternatively, add all your ingredients to a jar, cover with lid, and shake vigorously to blend.) Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
For the salad:
Place the greens in a large bowl, drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add as much of the remaining vinaigrette as desired and toss again. Divide greens onto plates, then sprinkle with beets, walnuts and goat cheese. (The reason you don’t just mix it all together in a salad bowl is that the beets would cause the whole salad to turn pink.) Serve immediately.