Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Midweek Food Musings: Beets--and Salad

When I was little, and my mom made borscht  (a Ukranian-born red beet soup), I was totally un-enamored with it and frankly anything with beets. But, alas, things change. And though I've not yet dabbled in borscht, some of you know, that lately I’ve been playing with beets. I’m currently toying with a variety of beet recipes for the upcoming holiday season (I’ve posted my soup, and roasted beets).  When I was in Barcelona last month, I enjoyed beets—in color and flavor—on top of my salad (see the picture here!). So my friends, I’m sharing with you a combination of what I had there, and what I’ve been playing with!

Roasted Beet Salad

Serves 4 as a meal, 8 as an appetizer
A Beet, Olive, and Corn-Topped Salad from Barcelona

1 1/2 pounds red or gold beets (OR you could do a combination!)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon turbinado (brown) sugar (optional)
1/2 cup finely chopped basil leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

6 to 8 cups mixed salad greens of your choice
Corn kernels (can be frozen, thawed, and caramelized)
Black olives, pitted and sliced or whole

Heat the oven to 375° F. degrees. Wash the beets, and cut the tops and bottoms off. In a large bowl, toss the washed beets with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt.  Place the beets in a single layer on the foil. Cover with another piece of foil and seal the edges. After about 45 minutes, begin checking the beets by piercing them with the tip of a knife.   Bake until beets are tender but not mushy, about 1 hour.  Cool and  peel them. Slice into strips (or use a grater for skinnier strips) and set aside. 

Prepare the vinaigrette: In a large salad bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, sugar, honey and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the salad greens and toss. 
Plate the greens, top with the beets, corn kernels and black olives (or whatever else you'd like--like onions and/or cucumbers!). Enjoy!

With Cary and Jamie--in front of our old school (University of Barcelona!) sipping beer--and waiting for our salads! 


  1. I can't believe I made your blog twice in a month! I am honored. Looking at this picture I feel so happy. A toast to Arlen and beets!
    p. s. the recipe looks fab; can't wait to try it!

  2. Ah, Jamie... You make me smile from both the words and the picture! Toasts right back to you!
    And when you try the recipe, send me a picture! ;-) xoox