Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Roasted Beet Salad with Guajilo Chile Dressing

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Beets paired with goat cheese is nothing new. They just go together, the creamy tang balancing out the strong flavors of that root vegetable we all loved to hate as kids (though if you simply roast it, as in this recipe, it's as sweet as candy).

Taking a cue from Rick Bayless, I tried to bring something a little more interesting to this classic pairing. Turns out the earthiness of beets plays superbly with the earthiness of dried chiles, which are the soul of this absolutely addictive dressing. Briefly fried in olive oil with cloves of garlic, the guajilo chiles are then pulsed in a food processor with sherry vinegar, the garlic, and the oil. The result is sweet, vinegary, smoky, garlicky--it's wondrous. I'm going to start keeping this around all the time.

To finish out the salad, I wilted the stems and leaves from the beets, because that's what I had, though next time I'd also cook some Swiss chard to bulk it out. It would also do nicely on some spring greens, baby spinach, or watercress.

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