Sunday, February 26, 2012
Roasted Beet Salad
It's cold and blustery and snowflakes are in the air.
My choice of dinner plans probably wasn't the most logical given the weather outside, but then again, when do I ever think logically about anything.
As much as I love vegetables, I'm really not much of a salad person. Unless, of course, it contains lots of croutons and cheese, with super fresh greens and a nice homemade vinaigrette. Then... I'm game.
The greens at the farmers market are my top pick when making a big 'ol salad. This week they were calling my name. They're on the pricy side, but there is no comparison when it comes to freshness and flavor. I snagged some arugula and pea shoots from Little Seed Gardens. Pea shoots are pretty much one of the best things ever. So good.
I picked up a fresh baguette and made some croutons for crunch.
Beets made an appearance too. Roasting 'em is the way to go!
A simple vinaigrette and a little cheese is all you need to complete this delicious salad.
Don't be put off by all the steps. If you prep everything while your beets are roasting, this salad comes together in no time. The beets, vinaigrette and croutons can also be made a day ahead and thrown together the next day for a quick salad.
Roasted Beet Salad (Makes 2 HUGE salads or 4 side salads)
1 lb. red beets, scrubbed clean. (I used about 8 small beets. The smaller ones cook alot faster too!)
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the beets in the center. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Fold up the sides of the foil to make a little package. Place the sheetpan in the oven and roast until you can easily pierce your beets with a knife. This can take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on the size of your beets. I usually check them in 20 minute intervals. When beets are done, set aside until cool enough to handle. The skins should slide off easily, if not, a small paring knife can be used. Once the beets are peeled, cut into 1" cubes and set aside. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees to make the croutons.
1/3 of a baguette, cut into 1/2" cubes (about 4 c.)
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves roasted garlic
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. sea salt
Make sure the oven is at 400 degrees. Place the olive oil, garlic, lemon, thyme, olive oil and sea salt in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Place the croutons in a bowl, pour the dressing on top and toss well to coat. Spread the croutons on a sheet pan and bake for 12-14 minutes until light brown.
2 T. champagne vinegar
1 t. dijon
1 1/2 t. honey
1 T. minced shallot
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Place all the ingredients in a small glass jar and shake the crap out of it for 10 seconds.
Now.... the assembly.
Place some arugula (or other salad green) and pea shoots (if using) in a large bowl, and toss with some of the dressing. Transfer your greens to a plate, and then toss some of the beets with a little dressing. Pile beets on the greens and top with croutons and a sprinkling of feta or goat cheese.