Grilled Beet Salad With Mint
Note: Precooking the beets means that you are just getting some marks and char on them, so it’s easy to tell when they are done. For appeal, use yellow and red beets, and keep them separated until serving so that the red would not stain the lighter-colored beets, or the cucumbers. If you opt for using all red beets, your salad will still be lovely. From Robin Asbell.
• 1 lb. red and yellow beets (3-in. diameter)
• 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 2 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced
• 1/2 c. fresh mint, chopped
• 2 oz. chèvre, crumbled, or 1/4 c. toasted walnuts
Cut the greens off the beets and save them to cook later.
Place the unpeeled beets in a pot with cold water to cover. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, with the lid ajar, for about 20 to 30 minutes. When a paring knife slides easily into a beet, drain them.
Peel the yellow beets first. Under cold running water, use a paring knife to trim at the tops, rubbing each beet to loosen and slip off the skin. Place the yellow beets on a plate to cool. Continue with the red beets, keeping them separate. Let the beets cool to room temperature.
Slice the beets in rounds 1/3-inch thick, placing each color in a different bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over all the beets, and toss to coat.
Preheat the grill. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Reserve.
Take 2 plates, tongs and a spatula to the grill. When the grill is hot, carefully place the beet slices on the grate. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, until marked. Lower the heat if they are browning too fast. Place the yellow and red beets back in their separate bowls. Drizzle with the balsamic dressing and half of the mint, and toss to coat.
To assemble, arrange sliced cucumbers on 4 salad plates, then compose red and yellow beet slices on top, sprinkling with the remaining mint as you go. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle chèvre or walnuts over the salads, and serve.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 245 Fat 20 g Sodium 420 mg
Carbohydrates 12 g Saturated fat 4 g Total sugars 9 g
Protein 5 g Cholesterol 5 mg Dietary fiber 2 g
Exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 4 fat.