Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad

Today is my birthday, so that means I get to eat whatever I want. I've been wanting to replicate this salad I had at a restaurant in New York, and the May issue of Cooking Light had a fairly similar recipe. So I decided to make it for my birthday.

Making this dish was just like a series of disasters. First, the beets I bought a few days ago had gone bad. So I sent xx out to buy some beets at the grocery store. When he got home, I pulled out the salad greens and HEY they had gone bad, too. But it all worked out.

My changes: I couldn't find golden beets so I used the traditional red ones; I added some shallots to the salad; I used clementines instead of tangerines, and I used a combination of beet greens and romaine lettuce as the salad base (instead of the arugula/greens mix I'd originally planned to use).

I thought it was great. I loved it. It was so pretty with the red beets and orange slices and greens - very colorful. It was also very yummy. It was very similar to the restaurant version. If I added some mascarpone cheese instead of Parmesan, I bet it would be exactly the same. I will definitely keep this recipe on hand for company or special occasions.

One note though: beet juice stains like hell so be really careful.

Roasted Beet & Citrus Salad
The sweet flavors of roasted beets and tangerines balance the earthy flavor of the beet greens. If small golden beets are unavailable, substitute red ones.

1 1/2 pounds small golden beets
Cooking spray
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups mixed salad greens
3 cups chopped beet greens (about 3 ounces)
1 1/2 cups tangerine or orange sections, halved crosswise (about 8 tangerines)
2 tablespoons shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400°.

Leave root and 1-inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place beets on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat beets with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes or until tender. Cool beets slightly. Trim off beet roots; rub off skins. Cut beets in half.

Combine orange juice and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add beets, tossing gently to coat. Remove beets with a slotted spoon, and set aside, reserving orange juice mixture in bowl. Add salad greens and beet greens to bowl; toss well. Place about 1 cup greens mixture on each of 6 salad plates; top each with about 1 1/2 cups beets, 1/4 cup tangerine sections, 1 teaspoon cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon nuts. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

Here is one of our plates after eating had already commenced:

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