Monday, August 30, 2010

Roasted Beet & Tomato Salad

Sorry for the lack of posting. And I'm also sorry that the few posts that I have put out, they're all about salad. I hate salads as you may know.
Anyhow, I'm really truly trying to get back into my blog but the summer's here but it's hard getting motivated to look at a computer after staring at a computer for 9 hours a day. If you're living in the Northwest, we use the word 'summer' pretty loosely considering it's been mostly cloudy and cool..but far better than being in the heat wave and flooding the rest of the US has been encountering). I love summer. It means farmers markets, sun dresses & tanned skin (no fake n' bake, please).

I hit up a farmers markets with a few girlfriends a few weeks ago and was inspired by these gorgeous bright yellow-orange beets. Yes, beets. I've never cooked beets but they claimed it was very easy to do..and they were right! After a rather long day of eating dim sum, baseball food at a Mariner's game and other various junk, I felt like Gabe and I should redeem ourselves w/ a light dinner. This is the lovely little ditty is what resulted.

Roasted Beet & Tomato Salad

makes 2 dinner sized salad portions

4 beets (mine were between a large egg and a baseball sized)
1½ c. grape tomatoes
3 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese (blue cheese would also be excellent)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (more for roasting beets)
2 tbsp. fresh basil
salt & pepper to taste
1 thinly sliced red onion, optional

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Wash and dry beets to remove excess dirt (do not peel). Drizzle w/ 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle w/ ½ tsp. kosher salt. Wrap in a foil packet and roast for 1 hour. Depending on the size of your beets, you may have to adjust cooking time. Beets act like potatoes, when they're done, they are fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool - skins should slide off easily. I just made the beets ahead of time and threw them in the fridge.

Peel and slice beets, arrange on the bottom of the plate. Slice tomatoes and pile on top of beets. Sprinkle w/ feta (add red onion) - salt, pepper, EVOO. Slice basil in small ribbons (stack leaves, roll like a cigar and with a very sharp knife slice thin ribbons) and sprinkle on top - enjoy!

Another note about the beets - as you may or may not have heard, they bleed and stain everything. I just used a dark cutting board and did all the skin removal in the foil packet. Even when you are washing, if you scrub the skins too hard, they'll start bleeding so be careful & try not to use a light colored porous cutting surface. These were even the lighter colored orange beets - if all you can find is the dark red ones, be especially careful!