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Beets Salad with Winter Greens, Fennel and Walnut

Sherry-Walnut Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

2 medium beets, about l 1/2 pound, roasted, peeled, and cut into wedges

Salt and pepper

2 heads of butter lettuce, about 10 cups inner leaves and trimmed outer leaves

1 cup flat-leaf parsley, small sprigs and leaves

1/2 fennel bulb, core and stalks removed and sliced thin crosswise
1/3 cup walnut pieces, toasted (page 46) and coarsely chopped
1 to 2 ounces ricotta salata cheese, 2 to 3 tablespoons


Make the vinaigrette. Place the cut beets in a small bowl, toss with 1!2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Wash and dry the lettuce and parsley. Combine the greens, fennel, walnuts, and half the cheese in a large bowl; gently toss with the vinaigrette. Separate the salad onto individual plates, tucking the beets between the leaves, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and the remaining cheese.


Sherry-Walnut Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
l 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons walnut oil


Whisk everything but the oils together in a small bowl. Slowly pour in the oils, whisking until emulsified .



These colorful gems-golden, Chioggia, and red-are wonderful in salads and
antipasto platters. Tossed with vinaigrette, crumbled ricorta salata, and a handful of
tender greens, they're a feast for the senses. We also combine all three types of beets for a gorgeous chilled soup and finish it with a spoonful of creme freshe or mascarpone.

 Golden and rosy-hued Chioggias hold on to their distinctive color, but red beets should be added to dishes at the last minute to keep their color from running. Their flavor varies according to the variety, but big, old red beets- the more common of the bunch-are often the sweetest. If the tops are fresh, save them. These greens are delicious sauteed with rainbow chard or dinosaur kale or on their own.

 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Trim off the greens and reserve for another use. Rinse the beets under cold water and place in a small baking dish with 'It inch water. Cover and roast until tender, about 35 to 40 minutes, depending on their size. When you test for doneness with a paring knife or skewer, there should be no resistance. If there is, they'll be difficult to peel. Cool and peel, then slice or cut them into wedges, or as directed in the recipe. To make the peeling easier, set up a small bowl of water and wet your fingertips. Then use your moistened fingers to slip the skins off the beets. If you're using more than one color of beet, just be sure to peel the red ones last.


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