This is an intensely flavored ~ earthy, sweet, and tangy ~ salad which is extremely nutrious and satisfying. An excellent opener to a winter meal, or as a side dish to lunch. Slowly roasting the beets for a longer time conserves almost all of the nutritional goodness and concentrates sweetness.
- 6 medium beets roughly equal in size, with tops, if possible
- Bibb (or Butterhead) lettuce OR orange slices (optional, garnish)
- 2 T. lemon or lime juice
- 3 T. Fresh Harvest black cherry or tangerine balsamic vinegar
- ½ t. sea salt
- ¼ c. Fresh Harvest Persian lime or Blood Orange extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 250˚F. Cut the stems to within 1-inch of the beet, reserving the leaves for another use. Wash the beets well, using a scrub brush around the stem. Wrap each beet individually in foil and place them on a baking sheet or roasting pan.
- Cook, undisturbed for 2½ hours or until a thin-bladed knife (or skewer) pierces beet with little resistance. Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette by combining the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and salt together in a small bowl; whisk until the salt has dissolved. Slowly whisk in the oil, blending until well emulsified. (vinaigrette will separate; simply whisk again before tossing with the beets.)
- Remove beets from oven once they are tender when pierced with a skewer. Open the foil, and allow to cool just enough to handle, not more than 10 minutes. Remove the stem with a knife, and peel the skins off (this cooking method enables the skins to slip off easily).
- Slice beets into ¼ -inch rounds, and gently and toss with three-quarters of the vinaigrette. Serve atop a bed of Butterhead lettuce, arugula, or orange slices. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette on top of beets just prior to serving.