Sunday, March 05, 2006

Roasted Beet Salad

I think that beets get a bad rap in this country, or maybe in general. So many people find them unpleasant, for whatever reason, but I think their distaste is directed most of the time towards beets of the pickled, canned variety. The canning and pickling gives beets a unique tangy metallic quality which I can understand not being matched to everyone's palate.

That said, I really like beets. I love them best roasted until caramelized, and then eaten in a simple salad of arugula, goats cheese, olive oil, and basalmic vinegar. Fresh beets, shucked of their dirty skins and slow roasted in olive oil and coarse salt; are completely different animals than their pickled cousins.

I would ideally have this salad with either a soft goats cheese or a mellow bleu cheese, but I didn't have either, and those two cheeses are one of the very few things Chris is picky about. Turned out he's picky about beets, too, but that's beside the point. The feta works nicely, though, with a sharp saltiness that plays off of the beets sweet earthy flavors and tangles nicely with the juicy tangerine.

My roasting technique borrows from a few people. Ina Garten recommends peeling the beets before roasting them, but she also recommends slicing them up and roasting them in a roasting pan, which I didn't do. Martha Stewart recommends roasting the beets whole wrapped in aluminum foil lined with parchment paper.

Roasted Beet Salad
serves 2-3

for the roasted beets:

1 bunch red or yellow beets (about 3 medium)
coarse sea salt
freshly ground pepper
olive oil
apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim the beets of their root and greens. Peel them completely, using a standard vegetable peeler. Place a layer of parchment paper on top of a sheet of aluminum foil, place beets in the middle. Drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and splash a little bit of vinegar.

Wrap foil into a parcel shape, then roast in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, or until beets are tender enough to be easily peirced with a knife. Reserve juices for dressing. Let cool.

for the salad:

apple cider vinegar
olive oil
tangerine juice, reserved from segmenting
reserved beet roasting juices
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
dijon mustard
1 head bibb lettuce, torn into small pieces
3 roasted beets, sliced in wedges
1 tangerine, sliced into segments
feta cheese crumbles

In a jar or small bowl, shake or whisk together the roasting juices, vinegar, olive oil, tangerine juice, mustard, and seasonings until desired salad dressing flavor and consistency is reached. Divide lettuce among salad plates, top with beets, tangerine segments, and feta, and drizzle with the gorgeous ruby red dressing. Enjoy!


Skeezix said...

Ohhh! I might have to try your method of roasting. Ususally I leave their skins on and just chuck them in some aluminum foil with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Anne said...

I just roasted beets yesterday following some guidelines from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I roasted them scrubbed but unpeeled, on a piece of foil but unwrapped. I seasoned them generously with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roasted at 425 degrees for 1 hour and they were great. I also used them in salad with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. They were delicious!

shuna fish lydon said...

Can I amend your way of roasting so that it's a bit easier and so you have less waste?

cut tail and top, wash. place in "lasagna" dish with cold water halfway up. splash evoo and sprinkle a thyme stalk or three. sprinkle gernerously with kosher salt. place in hot oven, like 400.

depending on the size of the beet, check on them in about 45 min. have beet greens rinsed and push them under remaining water about 20 minutes before you plan to take beets out.

beet greens are silkeir than chard, the skin of the beet practically slips off like a little black dress and you have some seasoned liquid nearby.

beet love.

Boston Chef said...

Looks delicious - we are big beet fans (who isn't??) so we'll give your recipe a shot...

How did the beets turn out? Would you have done anything differently in the roasting process?

Marianne said...

Shuna-- I originally wanted to do something with the greens, but my roasting of the beets was delayed and the greens were in bad shap when I got around to it. Next time, though.

Boston Chef, I loved the way they turned out, very tender and flavorful and great with the other salad ingredients. Thanks all!

Beth - Zen Foodism said...

This sounds delicious! I love roasted beets in a salad.

Sherri said...

A couple of weeks ago, I had a yellowtail and beet concoction at Telepan in New York. I had never eaten beets before and they were delicious. While looking for roasted beet recipes online, I found your blog. Tonight, I bought beets and roasted them according to your instructions. My first experience with beets was a great one. It will be an easy and healthy addition to my repertoire. Thank you!

Sherri said...

Per your suggestion, I tried the golden yellow beets. They are very sweet and beautiful as well. Think I like the purple ones better!
I am addicted to roasted beets!!

pamela said...

I would actually cube the peeled beets and put all those ingredients(Olive oil,sea salt,black pepper) and roast in the oven on the baking sheet,covered with foil.Cooking time will be half and every bite will get the taste of spices.