Friday, May 6, 2011

Sweet Beet Salad with Candied Walnuts

Luckily, no one in my family will even look at a beet much less eat one, because I had just 4 small beets.  And, I only have the beets because I forgot to swap them out of our farm box which we have delivered once a week.  I don't eat beets too often, but each time I do I am reminded how fabulous they taste and I ask myself, where are the beets?

And even those folks who do not like beets (yet!) - must agree that they make the most beautiful salad.

This recipe is for an individual servings (at least as far as I'm concerned), if you want a salad for 4, you will probably want to double or triple this. 

I shared a link to this recipe at Cybele's Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday.

4 beets, remove greens and save for another purpose (e.g. sauteed greens?)
walnut oil (or olive oil)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
handful of walnuts
1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
a few springs of cilantro, leaves only

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, trim and clean beets and place in a small casserole dish with a splash of oil, toss beets to coat with oil.  Cover the dish either with a lid or foil.  Place in oven and cook for 45 - 60 minutes, until beets are fork tender (the flesh of the beets are easily pierced with a fork).  Remove from oven and uncover, let sit for a few minutes to cool.

When beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skin by rubbing with your fingers under cold running water.  The skin should very easily come up.  Slice beets into serving bowl and add a bit more oil and the vinegar. 

Heat a small saute pan over medium heat, add about 1 teaspoon of oil, walnuts, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Stir constantly for about 3 - 5 minutes, until walnuts are fragrant and sugar is melted.  The spices should adhere to the walnuts.  Add to the sliced beets, and cilantro, mix to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings, you might want a bit more vinegar also.

- I just happened to have walnut oil, a light olive oil would be just as yummy
- add any fresh herbs you like
- add globs of goat or feta cheese, the tangy softness of either of these cheeses is wonderful against the sweetness of the beets and the walnuts

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