Mixed Green Salad with Diced Beets

by Emily Kemme

Beets have always scared me, first because of their ugliness as a vegetable, and then of course, there is that taste.  What I’ve discovered is that beets do not have to be pickled, boiled or borscht’d.  My friends Debby and Jill educated me on the simple art of roasting a beet; simple is so much better than complicated.  By roasting, the composition of the vegetable is broken down, oxidizing its sugars. The end result is caramelization, lending it a nutty flavor.  Roasted beets don’t become brown, just softened enough to taste of candied sugar.

Mixed Green Salad with Diced Beets Recipe

Assorted mixed greens

1 large bunch red beets, washed and scrubbed, leafy tops removed retaining about 2 inches, and bottom root left on.

1 container yellow Sunburst tomatoes, halved

1 container fresh mozzarella bocconcini, sliced into 16 disks, about 1/3″ thick

4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered

sunflower seeds, shucked (these are available in the bulk aisle of most grocery stores)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400°F.

Wrap beets tightly in tin foil and place on baking sheet.  Roast for one hour, 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool in foil.  When you can unwrap and handle the beets, peel away outer skin.  Dice beets.

For dressing:  in small bowl, combine oil, vinegar and thyme.  Whisk to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Whisk again before serving.

To serve:  On each of four plates, layer greens and place beets in center.  Arrange mozzarella slices, eggs and tomatoes and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.  Apply dressing.

Ruby red beets glisten in a salad, sweetness beckoning.

Serves 4.

Note:  for a tangier salad, substitute goat cheese crumbles for the mozzarella.

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