I love making this roasted beet salad in the fall. Root vegetables and squash are some of the last items out of the garden before the first frost arrives, and we should take advantage of them while we can. Beets have a big, bold flavor, which is why I pair them with a big, bold cheese like blue cheese, in particular, Great Hill Blue Cheese (from Marion, MA).
Let's Go-Go into the kitchen and get started.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- 2 large or 3 medium raw beets - preferably from a nearby farmers' market.
- 1/2 a medium-to-large sweet onion, peeled and sliced thin
- 3 - 4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 - 3 Tbs. cider or sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt & black cracked pepper to taste
- 1 pkg. baby greens such as spinach or arugula
- Good quality blue cheese to crumble on top
A few hours before you plan to serve the salad, stem, wash, and dry the beets (you must dry them so they will roast/bake and not steam). Either wrap the dried beets in aluminum foil and place them on an oven-proof tray (as I have done here)...
...or put them "naked" in a covered clay pot. Roast the beets in the oven for about an hour, or until they pierce easily with a small knife.
Remove the beets from the oven, and when cool enough to handle, remove the aluminum foil or take them out of the clay pot. Run the beets under cold water and rub off and discard the tough outer skin.
Slice the beets into quarters, and then slice each quarter into bite size pieces. Put all the pieces in a large bowl.
Add in the sliced onions, oil and vinegar, and salt & pepper to taste, and mix well. The onions will turn a beautiful pink from the "ink" in the beets.
Cover and let chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
TO SERVE: Place a small amount of the greens on a plate, add the beet-and-onion mixture, and crumble the blue cheese over the top.
This recipe will make four to six salad-sized portions (with a little left over for the cook).
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