Thursday, October 2, 2008
Beets are funny. They are so sweet you want them to be fruit but their earthiness puts them squarely in the vegetable camp. This dual personality works in our favor as we can enjoy them in both desserts and side-dishes.
I find beets to be humorous as well. Not many vegetables can claim to turn your kitchen or hands into the horror scene of a B-Movie. I always play this one up with my kids, who seem to enjoy the show. With Halloween approaching, one of my twins was seriously considering walking around the neighborhood with a beet root in one hand that she would chomp on before each house. We all thought it was a great idea until her sister pointed out that it wouldn't do because it was "so gross". Their plan, as of now, is to dress up as each other for Halloween and wear a shirt that says: "I am her" with an arrow pointing to the other one. So the girlie-twin was seriously perturbed at the idea that her look-a-like would dare to impersonate her with a mouth full of beets. Our life is never dull and neither are our plates.
This salad is elegant and perfectly flavored. The creamy dressing adds an orange fruitiness that plays well off the beets. The roasted walnut oil is luxurious and intriguing. The side-dish boasts a lovely blend of textures and flavors so that every bite is bathed in perfection.
Roasted Beet Salad with Creamy Orange Walnut Dressing (6-8 servings)
1.25 lbs red beets, peeled & sliced (1/4" thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tablespoon herbes de provence
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup light sour cream
3 tablespoons roasted walnut oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/4 cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 375F.
On a cookie-sheet, coat the beet slices with the olive oil, sea salt and herbes de provence. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes, turning the slices with a spatula halfway through the cooking process. Make sure the slices are cooked to your liking and remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Pour all the ingredients for the dressing into a jar. Close the lid and shake vigorously.
On medium heat, roast the walnut pieces in a small pan until fragrant (1-2 minutes), being careful not to let them burn.
When ready to serve, give the jar a few shakes. Pour over beets and top with the roasted walnuts.
This wonderful salad will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator. It's so tasty, chances are it won't last that long.
Feeling adventurous? Here's a different type of dessert made with beets:
Beet Mousse with Cardamon in Dark Chocolate Cups