Summer beets with white balsamic-honey vinaigrette
Summer beets are completely different species than their winter counterpart. In the summer beets are fresh, cook quickly and their natural sugars come forward in a subtle and delicious way. I prefer roasting beets (unless I intend to pickle them) as roasting brings out their flavours beautifully.
I don’t trim them too much before cooking, to avoid the juices from running and some of the flavour with them. It’s not a bad idea to wear thin kitchen gloves when working with beets as their juice can stain your hands.
There are a few varieties of beets commonly available especially in the summer. The red beets of course, as well as golden beets and the candy striped variety that I believe is called chioggia. This is a naturally striped variety that comes in pink and yellow shades and is often referred to a candy cane beets.
Beets go well with goat cheese and you often find these two paired in variety of beet salad, with or without greens. Because of their sweetness, a tangy dressing is a good option for drizzling over the beets. Nuts partner well with a beets salad as well, adding crunch to their soft texture and another layer of flavour. The salad in this post combines all these elements.
6-8 small candy cane beets (or another variety)
1 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons sugar
Microgreens for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons liquid honey (you can warm it a bit in the microwave to liquify)
Wash the beets and trim them slightly, not cutting off too much of either the root or flower end so their juices do not run while cooking.
Place the beets in a foil packet, add a little water to the beets, seal the packet and roast on a baking sheet 45 minutes or until they beets are cooked through.
Let the beets cool until you can handle them, then with gloved hands slice off a thin piece of the top and bottom and slide the skin off gently.
Once the skin is off, slice the beets into thin slices and place in a bowl.
To make the dressing combine olive oil, balsamic and honey and whisk.
Drizzle some of the dressing over the beets.
To make the candied nuts combine the nuts and sugar in a skillet and cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and coat the nuts. Be careful not to burn them. Let cool on a piece of parchment, then chop roughly.
Place beet slices on a plate, drizzle a little more of the dressing.
Scatter goat cheese over and the candied nuts.
Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with micro greens.