By Stephen Sapp
I do not like beets! In fact, I have loathed beets for as long as I can remember. Not long ago, though, Mary (who has always loved beets for some reason I could not fathom) asked me to try just one more time, and she suggested this recipe for the test. To condense the saga quite a bit, I now would be happy to eat this salad for lunch every day (well, maybe not every day). Whenever beets are available on our weekly Hungry Harvest order form (https://hungryharvest.net), we eagerly click that box. Although the dish requires several steps, the individual procedures are not complicated even for an occasional cook.
Roasted Beet Salad
- 1 (10-ounce) package mixed baby salad greens (or whatever salad greens you have on hand)
- 4 medium roasted beets (2 lbs.), prepared according to instructions below
- ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 2+ tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ cup orange juice concentrate (or just orange juice, which works fine)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- feta or goat cheese to taste
- 2 oranges (1 orange for 2 people)
Roast beets (see below). While the beets are cooking, place the nuts in a skillet over medium-low heat, heat until warm and starting to toast, stir in the maple syrup, and cook and stir until evenly coated; remove from heat and set aside on wax paper to cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to make the dressing. Zest, peel, and section oranges. Put greens on plate, top with beets, feta/goat cheese, orange sections, and nuts; drizzle with dressing; and garnish with a little orange zest before serving. Makes enough for four lunch salads or six dinner salads.
- 2 pounds red beets (about 4 medium-sized), scrubbed clean, green tops removed
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 400°F and line pan with aluminum foil. Place the unpeeled beets in the pan. Rub olive oil over the beets, and sprinkle with salt. Cover the beets with another sheet of aluminum foil. Roast the beets for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the beets and how old they are. After 1 hour, test every fifteen minutes by poking a beet with the tines of a fork. Once the fork tines go all the way in easily, the beets are tender and cooked. Remove from the oven. While the beets are cooling, combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small, shallow sauté pan and heat on high until the vinegar has reduced to a syrupy consistency, being sure not to overcook. Remove from heat. After the beets have cooled for several minutes but are still warm to the touch, peel off the outer skins and discard (the most challenging part of the entire recipe!). Cut the beets into bite-sized pieces. Place beets in a serving bowl and pour balsamic glaze over the beets. Stir in grated orange zest, and add salt and pepper to taste.