while making this beet salad yesterday, omar and i realized that the past 4 or so nice restaurant visits we’ve had (spanning from miami to north carolina to new york city) have all involved beets. so i think i now look at beets as something of an exotic treat, which is funny considering most people’s distaste for them (how about we place bets on who will be the first to comment and tell me of their hatred of the poor veggie?).
i was an adult before i had my first beet. during our first year with a csa in miami we got a whole bunch of them and we dutifully roasted them and tried them. and then i promptly pureed them up and fed them to a baby elisha who would down anything at the time. i didn’t mind them so much but they are a kind of peculiar tasting vegetable that i think, for most people, take a bit of getting used to. i’ve discovered that for me, the kind of odd, firm sweetness needs to be balanced with something acidic and something crunchy. so with my two-pronged requirement for beet consumption figured out, i can proudly say i now love them.
we created this salad from a hodgepodge of different recipes and have tweaked them all enough to call our own. and don’t skip out on boiling the beet greens. they really are great with the vinaigrette.
roasted beet, apple, and candied pecan salad
serves 2 with plenty of leftover vinaigrette and pecans
3 medium-sized beets with greens attached
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 recipe candied pecans found here (though you’ll only use a few from the recipe in the salad, they store well in the fridge)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
3 TBS red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
cut off the beet greens, leaving about an inch of stem. wash the beets and roast them on a cookie sheet at 400 for about 45 minutes or until a sharp knife pierces the flesh easily. let cool until easy to handle. using paper towels, rub the beets to get the peel off. cut up into bite sized pieces.
bring a pot of water to a boil and add greens. boil greens for about 2 minutes, or until tender. drain and squeeze dry with paper towels.
combine vinaigrette ingredients and stir with a whisk.
plate each salad individually, starting with greens on the bottom, then beets, then apple. add vinaigrette then top with pecans.
*omar added some goat cheese on top but i decided to consume my dairy in the form of butter slathered on a baguette on the side. seems like a win-win either way.