Sunday, July 11, 2010

Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad

At first, I was a little uncertain about this recipe from Food & Wine.  I've only had fresh beets a few times, but really liked them.  I had never prepared them myself, though.  I was excited about this challenge!  I'll be honest, MY salad looking NOTHING like the picture in the magazine, but that's okay because it was incredibly delicious.  Even my roommate and her friend were thoroughly impressed - two people who were not necessarily fans of beets.  EVERYTHING about this salad works - the texture of the vegetables to the sweet onion tang.  Do not be fooled by the pictures - this is shockingly delicious!

Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad

4 medium beets (about 1/2 pound each), scrubbed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
1/2 cup water
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 cipollini onion, finely chopped, or 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet Spanish or white onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup grapeseed oil or other mild vegetable oil
2 Hass avocados, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small baking dish, rub the beets with olive oil. Add the water and season with salt and white pepper. Cover tightly with foil and roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Let cool, then peel the beets and cut them into 3/4-inch pieces. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the chopped onion with the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and honey. Season with salt and white pepper and blend until smooth. With the machine on, add the grapeseed oil and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a steady stream.

Add the avocado to the roasted beets. Pour the onion dressing on top and toss gently to combine. Season the salad with salt and pepper and serve.

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