This is one of those salads that I make again and again. Everyone loves it, even those who are convinced they don't like beets (imagine?!). It spans seasons and is perfectly at home on a chilly winter evening when you want something cozy and comforting. However, it's equally perfect for a summer picnic. I generally serve it warm but it's just as good chilled. I often serve it as a main course salad atop a bed of arugula with a crumble of feta cheese. It can step in as a healthy take on traditional summer potato salad as well and is much better for a bbq as it doesn't have any of that oily, gloppy mayonnaise...yuck!
Golden beets are a good way to introduce non-beet lovers to the delicious world of beets. These are not those mushy, watery boiled beets or (gasp!) canned beets of old. These are sweet, caramelized, mild flavored beets that are deliciously roasted. Roasting is the only way to go with this root vegetable, in my opinion. It just brings out all their natural sugars and yumminess.
I hope you'll give this dish a try for your next picnic or bbq and report back about how it was received.
For the salad:
Yields about 5 cups
1# fingerling potatoes (Russian banana or similar)
6 medium golden beets
1/3 cup toasted walnut halves
1TB fresh chives, chopped
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
2 TB champagne vinegar
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1) Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil.
2) Wash the potatoes and slice them in half lengthwise, and then into quarters. Spread them in a single even layer on one of the sheet pans. Drizzle with 1 TB olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp herbes de provence, sea salt & pepper. Set aside.
3) Peel the beets & trim off the roots and stems. Slice each beet in half and each half into thirds. Spread the wedges on the other sheet pan in one even layer. Drizzle with 1 TB olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp herbes de provence, sea salt & pepper. Place into the preheated oven, along the potatoes. Roast both trays for about 40 minutes until the veggies are caramelized and tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
4) While the veggies are roasting, toast the walnuts in a dry pan until fragrant. Set aside.
5) When the veggies are cooled slightly (about 10 minutes), toss them together with the chives and walnuts in a serving bowl. Drizzle with champagne vinegar and season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve warm, chilled, or at room temperature.