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Honey Lime Beet Salad

March 10, 2013
Honey Lime Beet Salad

Honey Lime Beet SaladI can feel the weight of winter lifting. The daylight stretching. What joy it is to watch the winter wonderland melt away, as green blooms subtly at every roundabout. Alarmingly, someone said something about swimsuits the other day….eek, what? No. Not ready for that. The trotting in of Spring alone will captivate me for an endearing amount of time before I have to think about bathing suits and heat stricken days!

Although I haven’t been thinking about bikinis, I have been thinking about beets. Roasted beets drizzled with a light honey lime vinaigrette served on a bed of crisp baby arugula or a mix thereof. This salad is inspired by a recipe I saw in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. Although there are many ways to eat beets, roasting them is sure to bring out their richest flavors.

How to Roast BeetsGolden Beets

I thought I would finish out the winter season with this salad that is perfectly colorful and upbeat for the coming tulips. I used golden beets, which are, perhaps, slightly less sweet than the more commonly found red beets, but either one will work fine in this recipe. Look for beets with their stems still attached and lively.

Roasted Golden BeetsRoasting beets brings out their rich earthy undertones, however, I have also peeled the beets with a vegetable peeler and finely julienned them for a raw salad when pressed for time. Both ways are delicious, but differ in obvious texture. If you try the raw method, let the julienned beets marinate in a small portion of the prepared vinaigrette before tossing into the salad (the amount of marinading time is up to you).

Honey Lime VinaigretteHoney Lime Vinaigrette

The honey lime vinaigrette can be spiced up with some red pepper flakes, which adds a nice punch to the sweet tang aspect of the dressing. Either way, the sweetness of the honey compliments so much in this salad from the earthy beets to the peppery arugula. I’m just sayin’. It is GOOD.

Honey Lime Beet Salad

If you choose not to use pecorino on the salad, then substitute it with another salty cheese. All of the individual ingredients are playing their big part well here, including the salty pecorino.

Honey Lime Beet Salad

HONEY LIME BEET SALAD

Although root vegetables are traditionally thought of as a winter vegetable, beets are generally available all year round. When tossed with a light dressing concocted with honey and lime juice, you will not have to twist my arm very hard to convince me that roasting beets moving into any season is the right thing to do.

If pressed for time, this salad can be made raw, by peeling and finely julienning the beets (or grating them on the large holes of a box grater) and then marinading them in a small portion of the vinaigrette before tossing with the greens. My preference is roasted, but this is a nice alternative when in a pinch for time.

Inspired by Dorie Greenspan
Makes 4 large, or 6 small salads

Salad:

3 golden or red beets, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Fresh ground pepper
7 ounces / 200 grams arugula, washed and dried
1/3 cup pepitas
1/3 cup red onion, small diced
½ cup pecorino romano shavings

Honey Lime Vinaigrette:

Zest of one lime
¼ cup / 60 ml lime juice
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss beet pieces with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until fork tender and slightly crisp on their edges.

2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients, except the olive oil in a small bowl.  While whisking, drizzle in olive oil and continue to whisk until vinaigrette is completely emulsified.

3. Toss arugula, pepitas, red onion, pecorino, and roasted beets together with the vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Photo Note: beets photographed were roasted with skins on, but after testing recipe, I decided I preferred the flavor and texture better using the above described roasting method, which renders a crisp golden outside and tender inside.

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