Beets are now in season in North Carolina and plentiful at local farmers’ markets as well as in grocery stores. Here is a wonderful salad that is so simple to assemble. It does take about 1½ hours for the beets to roast and cool — you can do this the day before if you like. The beets give the salad an earthy, somewhat sweet taste and match well with the Vidalia onions, while the bleu cheese adds creaminess and the walnuts bring crunch. Sometimes I use goat cheese instead of the bleu, and that’s really good, too.
BTW, I recommend wearing disposable gloves when working with beets so your fingers don’t get stained. Trust me on this.
Ingredients (4 large servings)
- 3 medium beets
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sugar (more to taste)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 (5 oz.) package organic greens (mixed, spring, baby, etc.)
- Several thin slices Vidalia onion
- ½ cup bleu cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup walnuts, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the beets, scrub well and pat them dry.
Drizzle the beets with the olive oil, wrap them completely with foil and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for an hour or so, until the beets are fork tender. Let them cool.
Peel and cut the beets into bite-sized chunks.
Prepare the dressing by whisking the oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the salad greens, beets and onion slices and toss with the dressing.
Divide the salad among four salad plates. Top each salad with the bleu cheese and walnuts.
Serve with some nice crusty bread and a glass of iced tea (or dry white wine, if preferred.)
Eat, drink and be merry!
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