This spring and summer, I've grown an abundance of Golden and Chioggia beets. If you slice into the Chioggia beets raw, you'll be delighted by a pattern of alternating red and white rings. Cooked, they come out pink like the ones below. Just like with pickled beets, coating them with vinegar is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness. Here I use apple cider vinegar, but Balsamic vinegar, which already has its own natural sweetness, is a great way to dress beets as well. One of my favorite pairings is beets with goat cheese, so a salad using both has become a staple at my house.
-2 beets, cooked until fork-tender and peeled
-1 small onion, sliced thinly
-vinegar (here I used apple cider vinegar)
-salt and pepper
-2 c shredded greens (here I used the beet greens)
-1 oz almonds
-2 oz goat cheese
->Combine equal parts oil and vinegar with a small spoonful each of spicy mustard and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Cut your cooked beets into large chunks. Combine with sliced onions and cover with oil and vinegar dressing.
Meanwhile, as beets soak in the vinegar, shred or tear your greens and plate them. Here I use the beet greens, but spinach or lettuce would also be great. Toast whole almonds either in a dry pan on the stove top or in the toaster oven (one of my favorite shortcuts), being careful to toast them only until they are slightly darker brown and aromatic, not letting them burn. Either crush or chop the toasted almonds.
Pour your quick "pickled" beet mixture over the greens. Top with almonds and crumbled goat cheese. Enjoy as a main course (as with the nuts and cheese, it will fill you up just fine) or as a side.
~*TIP: One way I save time when cooking my beets is, rather than roasting them, I steam them in the microwave. To do this, I slice off the tops and bottoms of the raw beets, put them in a microwave-safe bowl, fill the bowl up with water to cover the beets halfway. Cover with another bowl to form a dome over the top. Microwave for about 5 minutes at a time until beets are fork-tender. Remove from liquid and peel. The liquid itself makes a great base to dressings and sauces as well or just a refreshing drink.*~