Why This Recipe Works
- Roasting the beets in an airtight foil pouch allows them to cook faster with minimal moisture loss.
- The foil pouch is also a great way to add aromatics to flavor the beets while they cook.
- The sherry vinegar-based dressing is lightly sweetened with agave nectar.
Beets get their fair share of criticism from children and adults alike, and it's easy to see why if you, like me, were exposed to the canned variety as a kid. Those things are not easy to like. A freshly roasted beet, on the other hand, is something quite different. Sweet as candy, rich and earthy, with a great sorta-soft-sorta-crisp texture, they're one of my favorite vegetables to work with. I make some variation of this salad a few times a year and it's one of my wife's favorites. Just like her, it's pretty, colorful, and best served at room temperature.
You can boil beets if you'd like, but the process will rob them of flavor (notice how pink that water gets? That's flavor going right down the drain). I've found that the best way to cook them is in the oven, in an airtight foil pouch. They steam as they cook, heating up the air in the pouch, and allowing them to cook faster with minimal moisture loss. Because you're using a dry cooking method, they barely lose any juices or flavor, and the foil pouch is a great way to add aromatics; A few sprigs of thyme or rosemary, some black pepper and olive oil, and perhaps some citrus peel.
Beets and citrus are a classic combination, and luckily, we're right in the middle of citrus season. This salad combines grapefruit, orange, roasted beets, and bit of arugula for some peppery kick (you can use whatever herb or salad green you'd like instead). I like to serve nuts with my beets, which usually means hazelnuts, but in this case, I've gone with pine. A vinaigrette made with sherry vinegar, shallots, walnut oil, and a touch of agave nectar sweetens the whole thing.
How to Roast Beets
Beet and Citrus Salad With Pine Nut Vinaigrette Recipe
This salad pretty and colorful salad combines grapefruit, orange, roasted beets, and bit of arugula for some peppery kick.
2 pounds (900g) raw beets, greens and stems removed, scrubbed under cold running water
5 tablespoons (75ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs rosemary or thyme
2 tablespoons (30ml) sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon (15ml) agave nectar (or honey, for a non-vegan version)
1/4 cup (about 70g) toasted pine nuts, divided
1 small shallot, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon (15ml) walnut oil
1 grapefruit, cut into segments
1 orange, cut into segments
1 cup (1 ounce) loosely packed arugula leaves
Orange zest, for garnish
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Fold two 12- by 18-inch squares of heavy duty aluminum foil in half cross-wise. Crimp the left and right edges to form a tight seal (leave the top open). Toss beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly between both foil pouches. Add 2 sprigs rosemary or thyme to each pouch, then tightly crimp top of pouch to seal.
Place pouches on a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Cook until beets are completely tender and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into a beet through the foil pouch shows no resistance, about 1 hour. Open pouches and allow beets to cool for 30 minutes. Peel under cold running water (the skin should slip right off). Cut beets into rough 1 1/2-inch chunks.
Combine vinegar, agave nectar, half of pinenuts, and shallots in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil followed by walnut oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss beets with half of dressing in a large bowl, then transfer to a serving plate. Add grapefruit, orange, and arugula leaves to bowl along with 1 more tablespoon dressing. Toss and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving plate with beets. Drizzle remaining dressing around beets, sprinkle with remaining pinenuts, top with orange zest, and serve.
Rimmed baking sheet, aluminum foil, citrus zester
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 22g||28%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||12%|
|Total Carbohydrate 30g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 6g||21%|
|Total Sugars 21g|
|Vitamin C 43mg||215%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|