I was late to the beet-loving crowd. They were never served at our house growing up, and after (attempting) to serve this salad to some other Sutherlands this weekend, I can only surmise that beets are not natural to the family palette. But, joining a veggie CSA two years ago forced me to explore beets, and I’m so glad it did! I received a few beets in my CSA box this week, and so I went in search of more gorgeous beets at the farmer’s market this morning – just look at the beautiful colors in the beets and carrots below!
My friend Melissa pointed me in the direction of this fabulous recipe from Cook’s Illustrated last summer, noting that when her teenage daughter returned from summer camp, this salad was at the top of her list for a homecoming dinner! This year I was eagerly awaiting beet season, so that I could make another big batch of this salad.
Roasted beets have a sweet, earthy flavor, as do roasted carrots. In this case, you roast the veg at high heat, then toss the hot veggies with a simple vinaigrette, and the beets suck up all that wonderfully tart flavor, making a lovely balance of tart & sweet flavors. The original recipe calls for a pound of carrots and a pound of beets, but because beets were 2 bunches for $5, I tripled the recipe.
Roasted Beet Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
Serves – a party
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine
1 1/2 lbs carrots (about 5 carrots)
3lbs beets of any color, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 shallots, peeled and finely minced
2 T champagne vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 T honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, and place one sheet tray on the bottom rack, and a half-sheet tray on the top rack.
- Peel and cube the beets and carrots into 1/2″ pieces, and chuck them all in a big mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, sugar and pour a bit of olive oil in. Toss to coat, and revel in the beautiful colors in the bowl.
- Remove the sheet trays from the oven and quickly spray with a bit of olive oil, then spread the beets and carrots out on the pans in one layer. Place them in the oven – the small sheet pan on the top rack, full sheet pan on the bottom rack. Roast for 30 minutes, without opening the oven.
- While the beets are roasting, make the vinaigrette in the bottom of the big mixing bowl the beets were in. Mince the shallots and toss them into the bowl. Pour in 2 T champagne vinegar, 2 T olive oil, 1 T honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk, and let the shallots marinade in the dressing while the beets roast.
- After 30 minutes in the oven, scoop the beets and carrots back into the mixing bowl with the vinaigrette, and gently stir so that the veggies can slurp up the vinaigrette. Allow the salad to cool on the counter for 30 minutes, then serve or chill until ready to serve.
Note: This salad can be made ahead and is beautiful as leftovers. Do serve the salad at room temperature. Topping the salad with a bit of goat cheese is heavenly.