Some people just don’t like beets. “They taste like dirt.” “They leave red stains on everything.”
How do they know it tastes like dirt? I bet they’ve never sat down to eat a bowl of dirt.
What the aching heck? They are plain old missing out. Just like I missed out when my sisters and I wouldn’t eat the hearts of artichoke and my mother had to “suffer” and eat ours, dripping in warm butter. I confess now that I grew up with two huge avocado trees in my back yard and guess what, I didn’t know enough to like avocado.
I like “earthy” beets. I like them roasted, boiled, raw and thinly sliced or shredded, in chocolate cake, dressed or undressed. Maybe a beet hater should try this salad of sexy dressed beets, completely bejeweled with pecans and cheese.
And not just any cheese, but Cambozola, a creamy Italian blue, which you might describe as a cross between brie and a mild blue cheese.
You know what a honeymoon salad is? Lettuce alone with no dressing.
Beets in this salad are all dressed, but with sexy ingredients. At least if you believe avocado oil or walnut oil is sexy. Brown rice vinegar is exotic enough to be sexy too. Tried on beets, it could make one utter a different kind of dirty.
Blistered Beets with Sexy Dressing, Cambozola and Toasted Pecans
Mixed greens (baby red and green lettuce, baby bok choy, baby chard etc.)
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 roasted beets, peels removed and cut in quarters
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar, or good quality red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (if you have it)
3 tablespoon avocado oil or walnut oil
Real Salt or Murray River flake salt, or another quality salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup or so toasted pecans
2 ounces Cambozola cheese, broken into small pieces
Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a sauté pan until the olive oil evenly coats the pan. Toss in the quartered beets. On high flame, cook and stir until a few sides of each beet are blistered, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. (I got this idea from Deborah Madison; when you finish beets like this you will know what she means by “blistered”, a definite color change, caramelization if you will.
Make a sexy dressing. Mix the vinegar, garlic, thyme, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the avocado oil in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Put a couple of tablespoons of the dressing in a bowl. Toss in 4 large handfuls of the lettuce mix and mix just to coat the lettuce lightly. Arrange on 4 plates.
Add the blistered beets to the same bowl. Toss with more dressing. Divide the beets around on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle each plate with some toasted pecans and pieces of Cambozola cheese.
Makes 4 servings.