Baby Beets with Flat-leaf Parsley and Mint Vinaigrette
Look for the biggest, greenest, freshest flat-leaf parsley leaves you can find, because the parsley stands in for other greens in this salad. Parsley grows easily, so every Italian I knew when I was growing up picked it from the backyard and tossed it as a salad. And those salads tasted great! Pair the parsley with tender young beets for indescribable small bites of freshness.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Taste and Textureherby, sweet, tart
Type of Dishfirst course salad, salad
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- Zest of ½ orange
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 3 cups plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 8 red baby beets, washed and trimmed but not peeled
- 8 yellow baby beets, washed and trimmed but not peeled
- 8 candy-striped baby beets, washed and trimmed but not peeled
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 6 tablespoons Mint Vinaigrette
- ½ cup shaved pecorino Romano cheese
- Cracked black pepper
Make the Vinaigrette:
In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the salt, pepper, and mint. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
If using within 3 or 4 hours, stir in the mint and refrigerate. Otherwise, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Stir the mint into the vinaigrette an hour or so before serving. (Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
For the Salad:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the 3 cups of salt over the bottom of a shallow roasting pan or sheet pan.
In a large bowl, combine the beets, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Wrap the beets completely in large sheets of aluminum foil and transfer to the pan. The foil packets will sit directly on the salt. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the beets are tender. Let the beets cool in the foil; this will make them easier to peel.
Peel each beet and cut in half, quarters, or slices. Transfer to a bowl.
In another bowl, toss the parsley with about a tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon juice. Toss and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the vinaigrette to the beets and toss until they are coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the beets among 4 serving plates, mounding them in the center of the plates. Arrange the parsley salad around and on top of the beets. Garnish each serving with cheese and cracked pepper and serve.
2007 Rick Tramonto