Roasted Beet Salad

 

I feel like there hasn't been a lot of middle ground here. The food I make (and eat) is either super healthy or really unhealthy. That might be my perfect life balance though - simple and quick food that is super rich and dense and usually also salty, battled with very light meals or snacks that make you like yourself again. Or maybe that's not the best way to phrase it. Liking yourself is why you have those treats, and wanting to keep liking yourself and not feel like an oompa loompa is why you switch over to healthy food on occasion.

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If you've never heard of this save it for a time you don't mind being totally freaked out by an animated clip.

This lunch is part of that healthy end. As I mentioned before, I'm not really into salad (except quoting Salad Fingers) unless there are a lot of fatty and salty items on top - bacon, heavy dressing, handfuls of cheese. Cobb salads are where it's at. This little guy though is for when you're in between meals or planning on a big holiday feast for dinner and want to feel like you can go, well, H.A.M.

 

Beets are like the easiest thing to make, and they are insanely delicious. There's something about making everything you eat them with a little pink mess that is just a blast, from a full salad with Craisins and veggies to some mixed greens and feta or goat cheese, which is what I've done here. I like to make my own salad dressing for this since I've found prepackaged ones are a bit too heavy here and don't hit the beet/cheese combo just the way I'd like, but feel free to skip my steps and use whatever you have on hand!

In the past I've cut the tops and bottoms off of my beets, slathered them in a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper, and peeled and cut them after they're out of the oven. I went a little Ina Garten (I have a lot of mixed feelings to share about Ina another day) and cut off the skin and chopped them before roasting, which I have to say was pretty genius. In about an hour you'll eat so well you'll feel like you deserve a big plate of nachos or tub of ice cream for dinner.

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 medium beets
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pinch crushed black pepper
  • 3 cups packed mixed greens
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar (I use white Modena for feta and Balsamic for goat cheese)

Instructions

A little wrap example/size comparison

A little wrap example/size comparison

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut tops and bottoms off of each beet, then wash and dry thoroughly with the rest of the skin on. Some people recommend washing and using the beet greens, but I've never been impressed enough with the ones I get to follow through.
  2. Cut off remaining beet skin. I bet you could use a vegetable peeler, but I had a good knife and found it came off pretty easily once you're underneath the skin to cut everything off. Cut beets into smaller pieces that are about double what you would deem bite-sized.
  3. Add beets to the center of a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap at the top. Cover with 1 tablespoon of EVOO and sea salt and pepper. Mix around with your hands to coat.
  4. Close aluminum foil up tightly, and place inside/on another pan lined with foil (broken foil drippings in an oven are no joke! Trust.). Bake in oven for 40 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes before serving or you will burn your tongue off.
  5. Prepare mixed greens - I go for a prepackaged, prewashed deal that encourages me to live my sloth life - with your choice of cheese and other veggies or toppings. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of EVOO with your choice of vinegar, salt and pepper (honestly I sneak a little sugar in there too to give it some warmth), and pour over salad. Add warm beets and enjoy!

I've found the best way to store beets is to put them in a bowl that you put inside a large resealable bag. This keeps them fresh and keeps beet-colored juice from destroying everything you love. Anyone else make this salad? Any different ingredients or salad dressings I should know about?