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Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Eggs, Pomegranate, andMarcona Almond Vinaigrette
serves serves 4 to 6, active time 30 minutes, total time 2 hours
1 1/2 pounds beets, peels on, greens removed, scrubbed clean
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup toasted marcona almonds, roughly chopped (see note above)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot (about 1 small)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin oliveo oil
2 small white onion, finely sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
4 ounces goat cheese
2 to 3 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1/2 cup leaves from the center of 1 head of celery
Preheat ovento 375°F. Fold a 12- by 24-inch sheet of aluminum foil in half to form a square. Crimp two edges to form a pouch. Toss beets, vegetable oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl until coated. Add to pouch and crimp remaining edge to seal. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven.Roast until beets are completely tender and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into beet through foil shows little to no resistance, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Combine almonds, honey, vinegar, and shallots in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle inolive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
When beets are cool enough to handle, peel by gently rubbing skin under cold running water. Cut beets into 1 1/2-inch chunks.
Toss beets, pomegranate, onion, and dressing together in a large bowl. Transfer to a plate. Garnish with goat cheese, boiled eggs, and celery leaves. Serve immediately.
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Eggs, Pomegranate, and Marcona Almond Vinaigrette
Posted by J. Kenji López-Alt, November 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM
Summer salads may take the spotlight, but I find fall salads to be far moreenjoyable. Specifically because they hold up so well in the fridge. Dress a piece of arugula and it wilts five minutes later. Dress a roasted beet and it'll be days before it even thinks of starting to allow its texture to decline.
There may be more than one way to cook a beet, but there's onlyone way that I go back to again and again. Boiling beets is fast and efficient, but it pains me to see all that wonderful beet juice going down the drain when I finally dump the liquid. Roasting them works alright, but they can end up dry and shriveled, and it takes literally* forever.
My method of choice is a hybrid. By placing the beets into a tightly sealed heavy-duty foil pouch and placing them in a hot oven, you create a sealed, steam-filled environment, giving you the fast-cooking benefits of a moisture (moist air is far more efficient at transferring heat than dry air), along with the flavor and texture benefits that come from trapping all of the aroma in that pouch along with the beets.
Added bonus: as soon as they're cooked, their peels slip straight off.
I like to accentuate the natural dirt-candy sweetness of beets with a lightly sweetened dressing, and honey is the natural choice. It makes a great emulsifier, which means that your oil and vinegar should come together into a nice sauce-like consistency without you having to strain your wrist.
Honey makes methink of almonds, and almonds make me think of Marcona almonds, so in they go, along with a handful of pomegranate seeds to give you distinct bursts of sweet juiciness as you work your way through the bowl. Celery leaves are an underutilized part of the staple vegetable. Let's put 'em to use here. And for some sharp bite, slices of mild white onion will do. I love theway they turn pale pink when you toss them with the beets.
Just those five ingredients, perfectly dressed, would be enough for a nice balanced side dish, but the whole point here is a salad you can eat for lunch or dinner. Quarters of hard-boiled egg and a few chunks of creamy goat cheese round out the plate. Eat it fresh, or let it sit overnight and eat if the next day (make sure to add the eggs at the end, unless you don't mind beet-stained pink eggs)—either way it'll be delicious.