When the greens stretch tall and the dusty roots swell into big burgundy orbs in my garden, I start to do a happy dance. It’s time to roast and grate and slice those sweet, juicy, earthy bulbs we know as beets. There are more varieties than ever available for harvesting or scoring at the farmers market. Try golden beets or the fun Chioggia (striped like a candy cane). I used the more common red beets in this dish, which, when paired with the greens and cheese make for a show-stopper of a salad. Yet, it couldn’t be simpler to prepare — just a handful of ingredients tossed together. Or more adaptable — use whatever greens you have on hand, the beet greens themselves or arugula, whose peppery punch shares a growing season with the beets. For the cheese, creamy local goat cheese can’t be topped. But feta is also a good choice. You could even try a sprinkling of blue. When I recently stirred up this salad, My husband and I polished it off in a mere 24 hours. Yes, it was that good.
Makes 6-8 servings
- 3 pounds beets, any color or size will do
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup greens, can be beet greens, arugula, chard, even kale. Washed and chopped.
- 1 cup chopped toasted nuts (try pecans, walnuts or almonds)
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 4 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 4 oz. cheese (try local goat cheese, feta or even a little blue)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 °F.
- Wash beets and coat with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour or until tender. Let cool to room temperature or refrigerate.
- Slip off the beet skin. It may peel away easily with your hands or scrape with a knife if needed. Cut into 1-inch cubes then place in a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese. Toss well to combine. Gently stir in the cheese and serve.
- Will keep for several days in an air-tight container in the fridge.