Roasted and Raw Beet Salad

July 14, 2012 § 2 Comments

Beets are, for me, one of the easier vegetables to grow.  They always take up a little more garden space than I expect, and there are always a few beets that never move beyond the “baby beet” stage, but I can normally depend on them. Same with arugula. In May, after missing the window for growing lettuce, I tossed some arugula seeds on my planter. With nothing more than regular watering, I had a solid, somewhat haphazzard, layer of arugula less than two months later!

That is how I came to this salad. I knew I wanted to combine my arugula and beets. I also knew I wanted to try something new with beets, which is how I decided on a roasted and raw combination. I have always been hesitant about raw beets, assuming they would be tough and tasteless. I still wouldn’t suggest biting into raw beet like an apple, but let me tell you, raw beets won me over! They are crisp and fresh, and delicious in this salad.

Beet & Arugula Salad

Inspired by Beet Salad with Watercress and Fresh Pecorino, Food and Wine

Ingredients

Salad

  • 8 medium beets, 5 for roasting, 3 left raw and thinly sliced
  • 8 cups arugula, thick stems trimmed off
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 4 ounces Toma cheese (you can substitute a soft Pecorino cheese for the Toma)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 2 large lemons)
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400º. Wash beets, and chop off stems if still attached. If any of the beets are significantly larger than the others, cut in half. Place 5 of the 8 beets in a small baking dish, and toss with 1 tablespoon olive until well coated. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and roast for approximately 45 minutes, until they are tender. Baking time will vary depending on the size of the beets. Set aside to cool.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry medium skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently, and remove from heat when they are lightly golden in color and have a nutty fragrance. Set aside to cool.

Prepare raw beets. Peel, then slice as thinly as possible with a  knife, or a mandolin if available.

Once the roasted beets have cooled, peel, and slice into wedges.

To prepare the dressing, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the arugula, pine nuts, fresh and roasted beets, and shaved cheese in a salad bowl. Toss with 1/2 the dressing, adding more if necessary. Store any leftover dressing in refrigerator for later use, and serve salad right away.

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