I LOVE beets and wasn't sure what to expect when I planted them so late this spring, but obviously I have been most pleasantly surprised. I mean, aren't these the most beautiful things you've ever seen? Even folks that claim not to like beets must admit they are gorgeous. As for taste, they are so tender and sweet. The perfect main ingredient in this fabulous summer salad!
I remember my first attempt at roasting beets and being very apprehensive about it. I wasn't exactly sure if I was supposed to peel them first and then roast them, or how much I was supposed to cut off before roasting... but once I did it, I was hooked. Here are easy step by step directions. You'll never buy a canned beet again!
1 head butter lettuce, chopped finely
3/4 cup beets, roasted and chopped
2 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup green onions, stems only, chopped
1/3 cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar, I used orange flavored
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (I used cilantro, but fresh basil or mint would work well too!)
1-2 tablespoons capers
To roast beets:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees on Convection Roast setting, or Bake if your oven does not have that feature. Wash beets. Slice off stems and long, stringy tips. Place beets in a foil pouch and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pierce beets, especially larger ones, with a fork to allow for even cooking. Close up pouch and put in a small pan (so that no oil or juices escape into your oven). Roast beets for 50 minutes to 1 hour. The larger your beets are, the longer they will take to cook through. If you have smaller, baby beets they may only take 45 minutes to cook. Remove beets from oven, opening up pouch and let rest until cool enough to handle. Gently remove outer skins with your fingers or a small paring knife, being careful not to cut into or discard any of the delicious beet lying beneath the skins! Chop beets into bite size chunks. This process can be done ahead of time and beets can sit in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble your salad. Roasted beets are healthy and delicious, so consider making some extra to snack on later!
In a large salad bowl, layer all ingredients.
In a small blender, pulse first 5 ingredients until well incorporated. Stir in capers and pour over salad. DELISH!