This week's recipe features fresh beets - still available at farmer's markets across the nation at the tail end of their season. Because they are root vegetables, it is pretty important that they are organic -- they are definitely on the Dirty Dozen list. To add a little bit of interest, feel free to use golden beets instead of, or in addition to, standard beets - they are much less messy, guaranteed not to stain your tablecloth and hands and hardly taste any different. Now the recipe calls for boiling the beets, but I'm a big fan of roasting - so if you have some extra time, I would recommend trimming off the greens (set aside to use later!)
Beets with Mixed Greens
2 beets (preferably organic)
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup English cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
2 Tablespoons thinly sliced red onion
6 cups mixed greens
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon stone ground mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 oz thinly sliced aged Gouda cheese
Cut the stem and leaves off the beets and quarter. Place beets in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove beets from water and let cool. When cool enough to handle, slice.
Meanwhile, place carrots, cucumbers, red onion and mixed greens in a large salad bowl. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, and stone ground mustard. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add cooled, sliced beets to salad and drizzle half the dressing over the top and toss. Leaves should be just nicely coated with dressing, not drenched. Add more dressing if need be.
Divide salad among 6 salad plates and top with aged Gouda slices. Serve immediately.
Photo by Ralph Daily