This colorful fresh salad hits all the right notes – nutty, peppery, sweet, and earthy. And it’s gorgeous to boot. Add lentils or chicken for a more filling alternative.
Yield: Makes 4-6 servings
- 4-6 medium-sized beets, tops and tails removed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pure dark maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 Tablespoons roasted hazelnut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 6 cups arugula
- 2 Tablespoons chopped mint
- 4 ounces ricotta salata, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped Oregon Orchard roasted hazelnuts
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 425°
Place the beets in a roasting dish and fill with water 2/3 of the way up the beets. Add a generous 3-4 glugs of olive oil, and 2-3 generous pinches of salt and pepper. Roll the beets around, so that they’ve been coated on all sides, then cover with parchment paper and tinfoil.
Cook for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven, carefully pull back the tinfoil and parchment paper and rotate the beets so that the side that was submerged in the liquid is above the surface. Recover and continue to cook for 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. They are done when a chef’s knife can easily slide through the center of the beets.
While the beets are in the oven, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard. Continue whisking, and slowly drizzle in the hazelnut oil. Season with salt and pepper.
When the beets are cooked, carefully peel back the foil and parchment and use tongs to transfer the beets to a plate or dish to cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skins with your hands, wearing gloves to prevent your hands from staining if you wish. Slice the beets into wedges or rounds.
In a large bowl, toss the beets, arugula, mint, ricotta salata, and hazelnuts with the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly among plates.