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Blistered Beets with Sexy Dressing, Cambozola and Toasted Pecans

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. I’m officially aiming to convert all beet haters to beet lovers with this salad–blistered beets and greens, all sexy with avocado vinaigrette, toasted pecans and Cambozola cheese.

Blistered Beets with Sexy Dressing, Cambozola and Toasted Pecans

Cambozola Cheese for blistered beet salad

Not just any cheese either. I recommend Cambozola, a creamy Italian blue, which you might describe as a cross between brie and a mild blue cheese. (Affiliate link.)

You know what a honeymoon salad is? Lettuce alone with no dressing. Giggle.

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.

Fresh Thyme for blistered beet salad

Photo note June 2015: I think the salad photo is awful. I hope you make it anyway–the flavors are sexy together! I’ll make the salad one day soon and take better photos! Promise.

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Blistered Beets with Sexy Dressing, Cambozola and Toasted Pecans
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
  1. Heat the first teaspoon of olive oil in a sauté pan until the 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. (see note)
  2. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Make a sexy dressing. Mix the vinegar, garlic, thyme, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil along with the avocado oil in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Recipe Notes

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.

1 comment

  • Franklin Biggs

    Letty, another nice post and recipe. I like the honeymoon salad recipe, also!!! How is the blog working out for you? If I did a post about my niece’s 3 day wedding festival in the redwoods near Fortuna Ca, it might sound like a mad chef schlepper, trying to twist into vegan, gluten free and gluten full, carniverous, pescatarian, lactose full and lactose free…11 miles from my kitchen and running potable water. I cooked on a grill, I cooked in the coals, I cooked in a pit, I “cooked” ceviche with acid…Back and forth from kitchen to the campground. Reply · 1 October, 2013

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