ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH GOAT CHEESE, EGGS, POMEGRANATE, AND MARCONA ALMOND VINAIGRETTE

Beets make me think of honey, and honey makes me think of Marcona almonds, so into the dressing they go, with a handful of pomegranate seeds to give you distinct bursts of sweet juiciness as you work your way through your bowl. Celery leaves are an underused part of this staple vegetable. Let’s put ’em to use here. And for some sharp bite, slices of mild white onion. I love the way 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 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 it the next day (make sure to add the eggs at the end, though, unless you don’t mind pink beet-stained eggs)—either way, it’ll be delicious.


SERVES 4


2 pounds beets, greens and stems removed, scrubbed under cold running water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme
½ cup pomegranate seeds
2 small white onions, finely sliced (about ½ cup), rinsed in a sieve under warm water for 2 minutes
1 recipe Marcona Almond Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 to 3 hard-boiled eggs, (see here), quartered
½ cup leaves from the center of 1 bunch of celery

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F. Fold two 12- by 18-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil crosswise in half. Crimp the open left and right edges of each one together to form a tight seal; leave the top open. Toss the beets with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly between the foil pouches. Add 2 herb sprigs to each pouch, then tightly crimp the tops of the pouches to seal.
  2. Place the pouches on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook until the beets are completely tender—a cake tester or toothpick inserted into a beet through the foil should show no resistance—about 1 hour. Carefully open the pouches and allow the beets to cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Peel the beets under cold running water (the skin should slip right off). Cut into rough 1½-inch chunks.
  4. Toss the beets, pomegranate seeds, onion, and dressing together in a large bowl. Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with the goat cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and celery leaves. Serve immediately.
    Marcona Almond Vinaigrette
    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.
    NOTE: Marcona almonds can be found in many specialty food shops. Regular almonds can be used in their place.

MAKES ABOUT ½ CUP
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup toasted Marcona almonds
1 small shallot, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the vinegar, honey, almonds, and shallots in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The dressing should emulsify and thicken significantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The dressing will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks; shake vigorously before using.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *