By Cat, July 2015 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
See also: 1. Salads Menu
Beets are my favorite vegetable; I even loved them when I was a kid. And Pickled Beets are my favorite pickle. I also love blue cheese, my favorites being gorgonzola and Danish Blue. So when I saw this recipe, I just had to add a version of it to my recipe blog and give it a try.
Although this is basically just chopped, roasted beets and blue cheese with a vinaigrette dressing, you could certainly add a scoop on top of a summer greens salad – I think a bit of arugula in the salad would be wonderful with this. Or you can garnish with roasted nuts such as walnuts or pecans.
Roasted Beet and Blue Cheese Salad
This delicious recipe is adapted from Fine Cooking (1), originally be by Nicolaus Balla, Cortney Burn. The original serves 4 – 6, but I have reduced it to serve 2 – 3.
Grape seed oil is not something I keep in my kitchen, mainly because it is hard to find here in rural Montana. I would use olive oil, even though it is not a neutral-flavored oil like that from grapes. Or I have some pecan oil I keep in my fridge, that was given to me by a friend from Texas, which I think would be good in this salad. Cooking web sites recommend canola oil as a substitute cooking oil because they have similar smoke points, but because most canola oil is GMO and has high levels of polyunsaturated fats that are readily oxidized to free radicals when heated. I would not recommend it.
I’m not familiar with dill sprouts, but if you can get sprouting-quality seeds, see instructions to sprout them on Sprout People (2) and SF Gate (3). The method is different from that for most other seeds. I would just use the fresh dill leaves (Fine Cooking does not recommend using the dried dill weed, as it doesn’t have that familiar “dill-pickle” flavor).
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 1 lb. trimmed fresh beets
- 2 ½ Tbsp grapeseed oil, preferably unfiltered (or substitute olive or pecan oil)
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ – 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 – 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 – 4 oz. Danish blue cheese, crumbled (gorgonzola is not recommended for this recipe because it is too creamy)
- ¼ cup sliced scallions
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- 2 Tbsp dill sprouts (optional)
- 9″ x 13″ roasting pan
- aluminum foil
- large mixing bowl
- Beets: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Put the beets and ½ cup water in roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until the beets are easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.
- Let cool to room temperature, then peel and cut into ½” dice. Refrigerate to cool completely.
- Prep: Slice the scallions and combine with the fresh dill and dill sprouts (if using). Mince the garlic and add to the scallions. Squeeze the lemon juice and set aside.
- Dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper.
- Salad: Add the beets, blue cheese, scallions, dill, and dill sprouts, if using. Toss to combine. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Serve: This salad is best served the day it’s made, but it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- Fine Cooking, originally be by Nicolaus Balla, Cortney Burn: finecooking.com/recipes/chopped-beet-blue-cheese-salad.aspx
- Sprout People, on dill sprouts: sproutpeople.org/dill-sprouts
- SF Gate: Dill germination problems: homeguides.sfgate.com/dill-germination-problems-75459.html