Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Roasted Beet Salad - Ring Around the Rosey
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm the only member of my family who actually likes beets. While it hasn't been easy, over the years I've been able to find or develop recipes for beets that my family will actually eat. This recipe has been adapted from one published by Gourmet magazine a decade ago. In it, beets are roasted, sliced and dressed with a mild vinaigrette before being tossed with batons of Asian pear and mache. Now I'd love to tell you that I'm a mache kind of gal. The truth is that mache or lamb's ears is available in my area only at Christmas time, so when we moved here I had to rework the recipe. I now use frisee and layer the ingredients to create a composed salad rather than one that is tossed. It still looks beautiful and, more importantly, my family will actually eat it - probably because the beets are hidden by other ingredients. Some time management is required to make this because the beets are roasted for additional flavor, but the recipe is simple and the salad is well worth any effort required to get it to the table. Here's how it's done.
Roasted Beet Salad
1 bunch beets (3/4 pound without greens or 1 1/4 pound with), trimmed
1/4 cup sliced natural almonds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large Asian pear
3 cups frisee
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2) Wrap beets in foil and roast in middle of oven until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Unwrap beets and cool.
3) While beets are roasting, cook almonds in oil in a small skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden. Cool almonds in oil (nuts will get darker as they cool). Transfer almonds with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and season with salt.
4) Stir together shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and oil from almonds in a large bowl. Set aside.
5) Slip skins from beets and halve large beets. Cut beets into 1/4-inch-thick slices and add to dressing, tossing to coat.
6) Quarter and core pear and cut into julienne strips.
7) Add 1/3 of pear strips to beets and toss gently. Arrange beets on a platter and drizzle with any dressing remaining in bowl. Top with remaining pears and toasted almonds. Surround beets with a ring of frisee and serve. Yield: 4 servings.
Cook's Notes: A ripe, but firm Bosc pear may be used if Asian pears are not available. Beets may be roasted and tossed with dressing 24 hours before serving. This salad is best served at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine.