I’ve been eating so many beets lately I may turn a deep shade of red soon.  Just like Ms. Boregard in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – “Violet you’re turning violet!” Beets also remind me of Doug on Nickelodeon. Remember that cartoon? His favorite band was called “The Beets” and they sang that song Killer Tofu.  Truly a man after my own heart, because I too am quite afraid of tofu but love beets. So let’s talk about this salad. It’s got tons of amazing things in it – hazelnuts (or nutella nuts as I like to call them), cheese (the best thing in life), beets (see above), fresh basil (from my garden!), and a delicious, tangy, citrus dressing. There are a lot of steps for a salad and it is a bit time-consuming if you are roasting your own beets, but you can always go down to handy-dandy Trader Joe’s and get the pre-roasted and peeled ones in the refrigerated section.

Ingredients:

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 2 TB white wine vinegar
  • 1 TB fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 6 TB hazelnut or grapeseed oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Salad:

  • 2 pounds beets (baby beets are best), washed and tops trimmed
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 16 ounces fresh mozarella (or burrata if you can find it), cut into small chunks
  • 4-5 large basil leaves, sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Toss the beets with the olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish, cover tightly with foil, and roast beets until tender (a toothpick should slide through easily), about 40 minutes. Uncover and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Peel beets (use a paper towel to help rub off the peel), then quarter them.

2. While the beets are cooking, make the vinaigrette by combining the white wine vinegar, lemon juice and shallot in a small bowl, then adding the mustard and slowly whisking in the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. To assemble the salad, toss the beets with 1/4 cup vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Arrange the mozarella on a serving plate and season with salt and pepper. Top the cheese with the beets, and top with the remaining vinaigrette.  Garnish with basil and hazelnuts.

ENJOY!

Source: Bon Apetit Magazine

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