Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beet and citrus salad

Through the CSA, I've come to really like beets, especially in salads.  In fact, I like beets so much that I actually bought some at the farmers' market this past weekend, because we hadn't seen any in the box for several weeks and I had used all of the ones that I had.  (We will ignore the fact that the fridge is full of many other types of veggies.)

I tend to prep a few pounds of beets at one time, allowing me to grab roasted beets from the fridge to make salads whenever needed.  While I know everything on the web says to roast with the skins on then brush the skins off after roasting, I take the skins off with a paring knife before cooking.  Sure, I end up with red hands, but then the beets are ready after roasting. 

After peeling, I cut the beets so that all of the pieces are fairly equally sized.  I roast either in aluminum foil (less mess) or in a covered casserole dish (more mess, but not bad if you soak the casserole dish for a while -- after it's cooled).  I put salt, pepper and a little olive oil over the beets.

I roast the beets anywhere from 325 to 400, depending upon what my oven is set for already.  I've been roasting opportunistically, when the oven is already on for something else as it saves energy and time.  I usually roast the beets from 30-40 minutes.  Much depends on the size of the beets and the temperature of the oven.  You can test with a fork to see when they have achieved your desired texture.

After roasting, I let them cool on the counter (or in the oven, if I'm done with it for the day), then put them in a container in the fridge.

One of my favorite salads combines the beets with citrus (I've been using either clementine or orange wedges), toasted walnuts, and feta (of course -- any salad is better with feta).  In the salad below, I also included some mini-mesclun from last week's box.

Once everything is assembled in the bowl, dress and toss.  I mixed together some dijon mustard, peach balsamic vinegar, and a bit of olive oil in a jar, then poured it over the salad.

An easy salad to make when you have your beets pre-roasted.

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