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Roasted beet salad with fresh ricotta (Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail)
Roasted beet salad with fresh ricotta (Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail)

Roasted beet salad with fresh ricotta Add to ...

In the late summer, bunches of small beets are a riot of colour. You can find orange, red and candy-striped, which all look wonderful in this substantial salad. Use the larger ones only if the small ones aren’t available. Red beets tend to stain everything they come in contact with, but if you let baby beets cool before peeling, they will stain less.

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  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Ready time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 pounds (450 grams) mixed colour beets, preferably the small ones

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons water

Dressing

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnishes

1/3 cup chopped shallots

3 tablespoons chopped mint

½ cup walnut pieces

6 ounces (200 grams) fresh ricotta

2 cups baby arugula

2 tablespoons chive oil (or other fresh herb oil)

Method

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place beets in a baking dish with olive oil and water. Cover tightly with foil or a lid and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size. Beet should be tender. Slip skins off beets and cut in halves, keeping red and other coloured beets separate.

Combine sherry vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over beets and toss to combine. Stir in shallots, mint and walnut pieces.

Divide arugula among 4 salad plates or bowls; top each with fresh ricotta and pile beet salad over. Sprinkle over a little chive oil. Serves 4

To make chive oil: combine ½ cup chives with ½ cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons chopped green onion tops. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Let sit for 2 hours then strain. The oil should be a bright green colour.

Suggested Wine Pairings

The meat or fish centrepiece, assuming you serve one, should figure heavily into your beverage match. I'm not telepathic, but I'll say that, whatever protein you prepare, you can't go too far wrong with a red or white Burgundy (or their varietally labelled analogues, pinot noir and chardonnay, respectively). Earthy yet crisp pinot noir will harmonize with the first two side dishes, and a crisp, lightly oaked chardonnay should mesh with the corn salsa. Served on their own as appetizers or snacks, all three recipes would take more kindly to crisp, light white wines, such as dry riesling, sauvignon blanc or unoaked chardonnay. Beppi Crosariol

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