I love love LOVE beets. I especially love eating them in a chilled salad with salty, creamy cheese. this recipe here is the perfect starter or side dish [or main dish or snack or dessert].
recipe in a nutshell: roasted beets & red onion dressed in a simple vinaigrette, served over ricotta whipped in salt & fresh lemon zest and then topped with fresh dill & drizzled with honey.
assembly/serving options: you can serve this dish whichever way you desire. I would take the amount of people you are serving and/or the setting you are serving it in, into consideration. you could toss all of the ingredients with some greens [arugula, spring greens, etc.] and then top with dollops of ricotta. you could smear the ricotta onto a serving plate/platter and top with the beets and onion. or you could plate it the same way, but in a bowl and eat it as a dip with crackers and/or flatbread [recipe here]. I personally love using Trader Joe's Olive & Fig Crisps [below] - they are amazing with this dish and really any other dish including cheese of some sort. BUT anyway that you assemble it, top it off with some fresh dill, a drizzle of honey and salt & pepper.
ROASTED BEET SALAD over LEMON RICOTTA
Yields: 4 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour if roasting beets
4 large beets, roasted, cooled & sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ tsp. white sugar
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 oz. ricotta
1 tsp. lemon zest [~ 1 small lemon]
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion, soaked
fresh dill, chopped
honey, for drizzling
Soak your thinly sliced red onions in a bowl of ice water for 10-15 minutes then drain.
*soaking the red onion gives it a crunch and makes the flavor a little more mellow.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and sugar. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Toss the red onions in the vinaigrette until fully-coated, remove the onions and set them aside.
*I set the onions aside before adding the beets to prevent the beet color and flavor from soaking into them – this is really more for presentation.
Add the roasted, sliced beets and toss until fully coated in the vinaigrette.
*see below for Roasted Beets recipe.
In a separate bowl, add the ricotta, lemon zest and ½ tsp. salt.
Using a whisk, hand-mixer or whisk attachment, whip together all of the ingredients for 1-2 minutes.
*I like to use my Cuisinart hand blender with the whisk attachment for this part [photo below].
Assembly – this you can do however you feel comfortable. Several options:
-- Smear the ricotta on a plate and spoon the beets and red onion on top.
-- Put the beets and red onion into a serving bowl and add dollops of ricotta.
Top your ricotta & beet creation with fresh, chopped dill and a drizzle of honey.
Preheat the oven to 400° and prepare a foil-lined baking sheet.
*even though the beets are wrapped, the juices may ooze out and burn on to the pan if you don't line the pan with foil too.
Trim off the tail-like ends of the beets and wrap them each individually up tin foil.
Place them on the baking sheet and roast for 1 hour.
Once the beets have cooled, cut off the in-trimmed end and peel them.
*I like to use two paper towels to do this -- the friction allows the skin to come off easier and your hands don't get stained.
Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender Trader Joe's Fig & Olive Crisps