Roasted or Raw, beets are so versatile, and can be used in a combination of ways. Lightly dressed in a tasty vinaigrette, the beets take on a glistening and appealing glow, making this salad a lovely side dish or used as a topping for a mixed baby green salad.
Freshly roasted beets are so much more tasty than canned beets. They are sweet and so delicious. Any colour of beet can be roasted. Chioggia or red and white beets will fade though. Since they can be kept for several days, roast extra beets to add to salads at the last-minute or warm for a quick side dish, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- 1 lb. beets, preferably all the same size
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- freshly cracked black pepper
Oven temperature should be around 350 to 400. Place freshly washed and un-peeled beets in a covered casserole dish, or in a roasting pan with foil to cover them as they roast. Coat them with the oil and sprinkle with pepper, cover and roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Allow beets to cool enough to handle, then using a paring knife or if you don’t mind messy hands, use a twisting motion like taking the lid off a jar to remove peel. The beets can rest for up to 2 hours at room temperature. They can be refrigerated, covered for up to 3 days.
ROASTED RED BEET SALAD
- 1 lb Roasted Red Beets
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion or shallot
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme or tarragon leaves
- 2 – 3 tbsp. Red Wine Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, optional
Slice or quarter the beets, and put together with the onion and thyme in a medium-sized bowl. Pour over the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add more vinaigrette if needed. This salad tastes best at room temperature, but can be served chilled.
RED WINE VINAIGRETTE
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp finely minced shallot
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of sugar
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Place ingredients in a glass jar and seal tightly. Shake the jar vigorously to combine. Let vinaigrette stand for an hour before using. Shake again before sprinkling on salad. This can be refrigerated for up to 1 month. Let it come to room temperature before using.
It is worth keeping a bottle of this salad dressing on hand at all times. It enhances flavors without overwhelming delicate salad greens and accompanies a well-rounded salad chocked full of garden ingredients.
Remember not to throw away the beet tops. They can be used in many ways, as one would use spinach in spring mix salads. Baby beet greens sautéed with garlic and olive oil are a must try.
RAW BEET SALAD
Sweet and crunchy. So refreshing and colourful, this salad travels to the best of picnics. Can also be used as a garnish in sandwiches with meats and cheeses. Use different coloured beets, but I usually use purple beets for the vibrant colour. Use gloves to keep your hands from staining.
- 2 T rice vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 T olive oil
- 1 pound red beets, peeled and grated
- ½ pound carrots, peeled and grated
- ½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and a large pinch each of salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Gradually whisk in oil.
Add beets, carrots, basil, and parsley. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning.