Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Friday, at last

Posted May 16, 2008

Beet Salad with Greens and Green Beans and Lemon Honey Vinaigrette
Serves 4

You can use red beets or a combination of red and gold beets (be sure to use some red for the color). If you use a combo, cook them in separate pans so the golden don’t get stained by the red.

For the salad:
2-3 large beets
A handful of green beans, ends trimmed and cut in to 2″ pieces
A small wedge of ricotta salata (Whole Foods and Metropolitan Market carry this cheese)
About 5 oz of arugula or other salad greens

For the vinaigrette:
1 small shallot, minced
The juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp of honey
5 tbsp of olive oil
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper

For the dressing, combine the shallot, lemon juice and honey together in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. With the lid on, give the ingredients a shake. Pour in the oil, add the salt and pepper and give it a really good shake. Taste and see if it needs more of anything. If lemon is too overpowering, or if the dressing seems too thin, add more olive oil. (The dressing can be made up to week in advance. You can double it and have salad dressing for the week).

To cook the beets, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the beets in an oven-proof dish and fill it with about a half inch of water. Cover with foil and bake for about an hour (or more). They are done when you can pierce them easily with a knife. Allow them to cool slightly, then peel off the skins with a paring knife. Cut in to wedges and toss with a few tablespoons of the dressing. (These can be made 2 days in advance and stored, covered, in the fridge).

To cook the string beans, bring a medium size pot of water to boil. Add a good pinch of salt, then the beans. Cook for 3 minutes then drain. Rinse well with very cold water and drain again. (You can shock them – which sets the color and stops them from cooking – in a bowl of ice water, but to me, that’s one more dish to wash).

To assemble the salad, right before you are going to serve it, mix the beans in with the beets and allow them to get coated with a little of the beets’ dressing. Lay a bed of arugula down on a large plate (or in a salad bowl). Scatter the beans and beets over top and then crumble the ricotta salata over top. It looks best if the crumbles are about the size of chickpeas. Spoon the dressing over the salad and enjoy!

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