This recipe for a roasted beet salad will change your mind forever about beets. Un-wrinkle that turned up nose, and hear me out. I use to overlook beets at the market as you may also do, because the options were pretty much the same, red beets. Once I started shopping at the farmer’s markets that changed as I was suddenly introduced to a rainbow of beets, which also opened the door to many new recipes.
Let’s talk about beets for a minute. As I mentioned before, the option of being introduced to a new variety of beet and one you may like will change if you hit your local farmer’s market. Trust me. Farmers are really expanding the beet horizon and I find it plain exciting.
- Red beets are the most common and usually can be found in any market. I think of them as the “basic” beet; sweet and earthy. Great roasted.
- Chioggia beets are just plain gorgeous as they are naturally striped and come in color combinations such as yellow and orange or red and a creamy white. Do keep in mind the striped pattern will fade when cooked. Besides roasting, I also like to thinly slice raw into a green salad.
- Golden Yellow or Orange beets are more mellow then red beets, not as sweet and less of an earthy taste. They add a lovely color to many dishes, and I enjoy roasting them or lightly steaming.
- Baby beets can be any color; they are just pulled from the earth when the farmers are trying to make room for larger beets to grow. They are tender and typically have bright greens, which are also wonderful cooked. I buy them whenever I can find them.
When Lenny and I started dating, he was not a beet fan as I am pretty sure he was served beets the same way I was as child; boiled, over-cooked or worse CANNED. Sorry, Mom(s); it was the 70s. I changed his mind the first time I served him a big bowl of roasted beets, and he has never turned his nose up at a beet since. For this roasted beet salad recipe, I used golden yellow beets, and I roasted them which keeps their bright color and enhances their delicate flavor. I use a low-heat oven when roasting beets, this way they hold some of their crisp and do not become mushy. When roasting any type of beet, the process is simple, scrub with a veggie brush (leave the outer skin on), wrap in foil with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Simply slide them in the oven and forget about them until ready. Typically, a small-medium beet will be ready within 45 minutes. Of course, larger beets will take a little more time. I poke the largest beet with a fork to test the doneness. Trust me, DO NOT OVERCOOK, the flavor will fall flat. Once you have let the beets cool (at least 30 minutes), it will be really easy to remove the outer skin, leaving behind a lovely roasted beet.
Last week at the farmer’s market, Lenny expressed an interest in grabbing some gorgeous golden yellow beets. We brought them home and made this simple but lovely salad for lunch using some burrata cheese that we had on hand. The seasonings were simple, a high-quality olive oil and balsamic, some fresh thyme and the freshly roasted beets; it was a perfectly light lunch when paired with warm baguettes.
Roasted Beet Salad
7 medium-sized golden yellow beets
5 ounces burrata
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
olive oil for cooking
high-quality olive oil for dressing
high-quality balsamic vinegar for dressing
Preheat the oven to 375.
Scrub the beets using a vegetable brush to remove dirt. Leave the skins on.
Place the beets on a large piece of foil.
Drizzle with olive oil that you use for cooking. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Fold the foil to make a package, sealing well. Place on a baking sheet.
Slide into the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
Remove from the oven, and let cool for 30 minutes or until you can handle the beets.
Remove the skin, which should come off easily with your fingers or a small knife.
Slice the beets into circles, and place on a serving platter.
Tear the burrata into pieces and place over the beets.
Drizzle the high-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top. Use as much as you like for your taste buds.
Sprinkle with the thyme and some black pepper.