Slow Roasted Beet Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

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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.

Recipe by Karen Gros

Serves 8

  • 6 medium beets roughly equal in size, with tops, if possible
  • Bibb (or Butterhead) lettuce OR orange slices (optional, garnish)

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 T.  lemon or lime juice
  • 3 T. Fresh Harvest black cherry or tangerine balsamic vinegar
  • ½ t. sea salt
  • ¼ c. Fresh Harvest Chilean lime or blood orange extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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).
  4. 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.

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