In this composed salad, the earthy sweetness of beets pairs with honeyed tang of clementines—and their colors are riotously brilliant together, kind of like Mardi Gras.
Those colors can almost get out of control, especially where the beets are concerned. I’ve had numerous bouts of magenta-stained fingertips and countertops to show for it. (Thank goodness that’s only temporary!) In her work, my foodstylist friend promotes golden beets for that reason. And while I do love those golden ones, I think that the traditional deep reds taste a tetch sweeter.
Last week, when another friend served a lively tossed green salad that included shredded beets, she lamented their pervasive staining power.
Do you know about roasting? I asked her. Roasting the beets contains that somewhat, and there’s the benefit of intensified flavor.
It is simple to do: after cleaning the beets, trim the tops (save those beet greens to sautÃ© in a little olive oil, and minced garlic), brush with oil, then lightly salt, and place on a baking pan. Roast in a hot (400-425 degree oven) for about 25 minutes. After cooling, their skins peel right off. Chill them whole, then slice later for the salad.
Yes, there’s still some pooling of color. Gorgeous. It makes me want to pick up a brush and paint.
Composed Roasted Beet-Clementine Salad
1 head Leaf Lettuce, broken into leaves, washed, spun dry
1/2 lb. Beets, roasted, chilled, and sliced
2 Clementines, peeled and sectioned
2-3 oz. Goat Cheese, broken into small pieces
1 batch Clementine Vinaigrette
Place lettuce leaves onto chilled salad plates. Fan out slices of beets and
clementine sections and paint (or squeeze from a squirt bottle) the vinaigrette onto them.
Dust with crumbled goat cheese. Serves 4.
2 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Clementine juice
1 Tablespoon chopped Chives
1 teaspoon Clementine zest
Â½ teaspoon Black Pepper
Â¼ teaspoon Dry Mustard
8 Tablespoons Walnut Oil
Place all ingredients except Walnut Oil into food processor that has been outfitted with the swivel blade. Process, adding walnut oil one tablespoon at a time. (If you don’t have a food processor, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, adding the walnut oil last. The dry mustard acts as an emulsifier.)
Tips: You can readily substitute any favorite citrus
(grapefruit/orange/lime/tangerine…) and use its juice and zest in the vinaigrette.
If you are unable to locate White Balsamic Vinegar, which I found at
Trader Joe’s, then use White Wine or Champagne Vinegar.
The viscosity and subtle flavor of the walnut oil distinguish this dressing.