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Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

The Challenge

This week, we had two recipes, Prunes in Armagnac, and this Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad, which you can find here or on page 102 of Foolproof.

Mary's Take:

Well, we sure hit the recipe lottery last week! [Lea: Or not.] Or not. I mean, of course there are plenty of people who like prunes and beets, but I'm not going to lie and say I'm a lover of either. (I mean, before we made these 2 dishes, of course!) We probably should have spaced them out a bit so Lea would actually play along with the challenge since part of its intention is to feed Mr. Good Eater and Mr. Picky Pants. [Lea: Perhaps we need to consider Mr. Husband. He did the shopping this week and last and the "oh, I couldn't find it" isn't going to work every time he doesn't want to eat something.] [Mary: I was going to mention that...I mean, love you, Josh!]

Or maybe it was good to get both out of the way and start afresh the next week? [Lea: That's what I'm thinking. Oh, and that I definitely need to do the shopping from now on.]

Either way, beet salad was on the menu last week. Beets to me are very earthy - and I say that to mean they taste like they come from dirt. [Lea: You're not helping here.] Not necessarily in a bad way; I don't mind eating them, I just don't crave them. John loves beets. My friend Niki loves beets. Our cousin, Beth, brings almost this identical salad to Thanksgiving dinner. and it's delicious. The Lithuanian in us should love them...Šaltibarščiai, anyone? (That's Lithuanian cold beet soup, in case you were wondering.)

It seems everyone is in agreement that beets, goat cheese, and balsamic are great together in a salad. John and I sometimes share this kind when we go to a restaurant, so, the ingredients in this recipe were very familiar to me.

First step: roast the beets. Cut off the tops and hairy-looking roots [Lea: Yum], wash them, and wrap them individually in foil. (I halved this recipe once again, so I only made 4 beets.)

While the beets roast, make the balsamic vinaigrette, which is soooo good. Whisk together equal parts of balsamic and olive oil (which is different than most vinaigrettes I make, which are 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil), dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

Roast the beets until they're soft, about an hour. Unwrap and let them cool for a bit so you can handle them. Peeling and cutting these little maroon beauties will turn your fingers and cutting board pink, which is why this recipe recommends laying a piece of parchment on your cutting board before you start. (Brilliant!)

Mix the warm sliced beets with half of the vinaigrette. Don't my 4 little beets look silly in that big bowl? [Lea: That does look kind of dinky.]

Wait, I only sliced 2 of them and saved the other 2 for another day. Never mind. [Lea: To eat this again?!] [Mary: Well, um, yes, but we didn't, so the other 2 ended up in the trash anyway. It's not that I didn't want to make it again, it's just that we ran out of time.]

Toss the arugula with the rest of the vinaigrette and put it on a pretty platter. Layer on the beets, crumble on the goat cheese, and top with Marcona almonds (which you've toasted for a bit in the oven). Super easy.

The Verdict

This is really a pretty salad and great in the fall. Or winter. Whenever you feel like eating earthy foods. [Lea: She said dirt. Whenever you feel like eating dirt.] [Mary: You know, in a good way.] John, of course, loved it too since this is his kind of salad.

The instructions say the full recipe feeds 6, but I'd say it would easily feed 8. We sometimes buy the Trader Joe's beets that are already cooked and peeled. I'm wondering if they wouldn't be just as good in this salad, with the exception of the warm beets absorbing the vinaigrette. Maybe they could be heated a bit first.

This is also adaptable to what you have on hand. Don't like goat cheese but have feta? Use that. Couldn't find Marcona almonds? Use walnuts. Arugula is too peppery for you? Use spring mix. See what I mean?

Lea's Take:

I don't eat dirt. The end.

Next week, cookies and crackers! Lea is IN!

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1 comentario

12 dic 2020

It looks pretty. And maybe if you snuck it into a dinner I would try it. But I’m with Lea, not a fan of dirt!

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