Is there a more pain in the ass tuber? Probably not, and yet, they are still worth the trouble and the red hands and the stains on the cutting board. (And if you eat a lot of them, you pee red, which in the middle of the night, when you’ve forgotten that you’ve eaten the beets, can give you quite a scare.) But, I digress.
Here’s a flavor match made in beet heaven.
Roast Beet, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad
2-3 fresh, smallish red beets
1 chunk of good blue cheese, firm and sharp
1 handful of walnuts
2 bowl sized portions of salad greens
Olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper
You’re making a salad, ok, so you really don’t need exact quantities here. You like a lot of blue cheese…add some more. You prefer goat to blue, go for it.
Turn the oven on to 350. Wash the beets, don’t go crazy, and just get off any obvious dirt lumps. Pierce the skin of each beet a few times and put them in the oven, directly on the rack. Roast until soft (not falling apart soft, just resilient soft). When they are cool enough to handle, peel the beets, the skins will just come off without a lot of struggle. Slice into ¼” thick slices, then cube. Place the cubes in a bowl with 2T olive oil and a dash of vinegar. Coat the beet cubes and let stand at room temperature until you are ready to serve the salad.
The walnuts. Here you have some more options. You can use half walnuts, or roughly chop the walnuts and serve them like that. You could also melt a small amount of butter to a pan, melt it, add some sugar and then caramelize the walnuts, coating them in the melted sugar and butter.
Crumble the blue cheese. Make a simple vinaigrette dressing: 4 parts olive oil, 1 part good red vinegar and a little bit of mustard. Some people like a little salt and pepper added to the vinaigrette.
Throw the salad into a bowl and add the dressing, toss well and divide the salad into two serving bowls. Add the beet cubes, cheese and walnuts on top of the bowls and serve. The reason that you need to serve this in individual bowls instead of family style is that you just know your dining partner is going to snitch all the walnuts, or the beets, and this eliminates any bickering at the table. See, I think of everything.