Beets are one of those vegetables that I never used to cook because I didn’t know how to prepare them to make them tasty and interesting. Then one evening while having dinner out in celebration of my husband’s birthday, our waiter described the chef’s special salad of the day. It consisted of roasted beets on baby greens with goat cheese. It sounded interesting, but neither one of us was willing to venture out and order a whole one, so we compromised and ordered one, which we shared. BIG MISTAKE! We were racing each other in our efforts to have the largest portion. Right then and there I knew I had to find a way to replicate that salad.
I experimented with several ways to roast the beets, one being to wrap an unpeeled beet ( or beets) in foil, drizzled with a little olive oil, and bake for about an hour. Then cool slightly, peel, and proceed with your recipe. I am not fond of this method, because it adds to the time spent preparing the dish. I prefer the following method of preparation instead.
- Peel about 4 medium beets and cut each in half. Then cut into 1/2 inch wedges.
- Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. I like to use a seasoned/flavored olive oil, like one used for dipping bread.
- Season with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder.
- Toss all together so beets are lightly coated. then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet or shallow baking dish, coated with no-stick cooking spray.
- Roast at 450 degrees, stirring once or twice, until crisp tender, about 35 minutes.
At this point you could serve these beets hot as a side dish, and they are delicious as is: lightly browned on the edges, and already seasoned; or use them in the salad.
Once cooled, transfer to a bowl; toss with 4 chopped scallions and 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
To assemble the salad, place a serving of mixed baby greens on each of 4 – 6 serving plates.
Drizzle with a little of the seasoned olive oil used to season the beets, then top with the beets, and lastly top with crumbled goat cheese. Feta cheese is also a good substitute for the goat cheese.