Monday, June 27, 2011

Beet and Feta Salad

Our farmer's market isn't yet as bountiful as the one we visited last weekend in California.  I did find very nice beets with lush greens still attached.  Instead of doing something fancy with them, I decided to prepare a light lunch.  Believe me, after all the good dining on vacation, I am sorely in need of light meals!!

I always separate the greens from the beet root before refrigerating.  Otherwise, the leaves draw moisture from the beets.  I knew these wouldn't be around long but it has become a habit.

A Salad of Beet Roots on a Bed of Beet Greens with Feta

2 bunches of medium sized beets (10 total) with greens
Feta cheese
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I used white balsamic but regular is fine)
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Leave about two inches of stem on the beet and the root end intact.  Wash well as they can be sandy.  With the water clinging to them, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes to an hour depending on size.  When cool enough to handle, "slip" off the peel and slice the beets about a quarter inch thick.  Set aside.

For the dressing, place the vinegar, sugar and salt into a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until slightly reduced and syrupy in texture.  Add pepper to taste and pour over the beets.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

For the greens:  Remove the heavy stems and wash the greens well.  Rough chop them.  In a saucepan large enough to hold them, add about an inch of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the temperature, add salt to taste and add the greens.  Cover the pot.  Stir occasionally until the leaves wilt and are tender.  Depending on the size (and age) of the beet greens, this can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

Drain the beet greens and allow to cool.  If putting the salad together right away, leave at room temperature.

Arrange the greens on a salad plate, top with some of the beets and drizzle some of the dressing over the greens.  Sprinkle with the feta.