Some friends of mine have been complaining that they don’t know what the heck to do with all the beets they’ve been getting in their Boston Organics deliveries. Well, one thing you can do if you’re sick of roasting, roasting and more roasting… make a beet salad!
With four smallish beets, some leftover walnuts and my absolute FAV goat cheese from Whole Foods, I made myself a proper beet feast. I didn’t follow a recipe (which I tend to love to do), but rather thought about what I felt would go best with those sweet and tender veggies. The results were super flavorful and very satisfying. I’m already looking forward to leftovers…
First, I cut off the tops and bottoms of the beets and peeled them – very carefully. For anyone who hasn’t worked with beets, they are extremely “stainy”. Everything the bare beet – or it’s juice – touches turns pink.
Then, I cut them into quarters, or if they were a bit larger, into sixths. As I was preparing them, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful these beets were… deep ruby colored, with just a hint of lighter pink marbling. They actually almost looked like meat! You can see for yourself below.
Next, I boiled them for about 20 minutes in heavily salted water. Depending on how big your beets are going into the water, you may want to boil them for more or less time. Definitely take a piece out and test it for tenderness before committing to pouring out the water. You’d be bumming big time if you ended up with underdone beets.
While the beets were cooking, I did two things. First, I made a marinade/dressing using some things from my cabinet. I used equal parts acid to oil – 2 TBSP red wine vinegar and 1 TBSP Roses Sweetened Lime Juice + 3 TBSP olive oil. To that, I added a healthy helping (maybe 1.5 tsp) of salt, a few shakes of ground pepper, and some dill. I tasted it, and realized it needed more sweetness, so I added about 2 tsp of honey which made it JUST right!
Second, I toasted up some walnuts to give the salad a kick of crunch. I put about 1 TBSP of butter into a saute pan and when it was bubbling hot, added a cup of roughly chopped walnuts. As the walnuts browned, I added 2 tsp of sugar and continued cooking until caramelized. Sweet + salty nutty goodness!
After draining the beets, I chopped them up into 1/2″ chunks, and while they were still hot, tossed them into the bowl with the marinade so as to better absorb everything. I let that sit for about 10 minutes just to allow all of the flavors to really sink in.
When I was ready to eat, I topped the beets with a generous helping of goat cheese – and really, this goat cheese from Whole Foods is far and away the best one I’ve ever tried. It’s smooth and creamy and tangy… a perfect companion to my marinated beets!
To that, I added the walnuts (and I added a lot – this was dinner after all…) and promptly dug in.