Margi’s Beet Salad

By Margi Lenga Kahn

Ingredients:

1- 2 bunches beets, with greens, color or colors of your choice

1 clove garlic finely minced plus 6 whole, unpeeled garlic cloves

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional

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Olive oil for pan and for drizzling plus 2-3 tbsp. for vinaigrette

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Coarse kosher salt

6-8 ounces fresh arugula, rinsed and spun dry

2 tbsp. finely chopped shallot

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4-1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

4 ounces mild goat cheese or feta cheese, crumbled

Cut beet greens two-inches above beets. Rinse greens thoroughly in water and pat dry with a paper towel. Coarsely chop stems and leaves. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Directions:

Gently scrub unpeeled beets under cold water to remove dirt. Pat beets dry with a paper towel. Place beets in a single layer in a shallow, oven-safe dish or pan. Scatter whole garlic cloves among the beets. Drizzle beets with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano and 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt.

Cover dish tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil. Bake beets in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until just tender when poked with a fork.

While beets are roasting, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and pepper flakes, if using. Saut é until softened but not brown. Add chopped greens and stems. Stir and continue to cook over low heat, adding a teaspoon of water or broth if pan gets too dry. When greens are wilted, about 5 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Remove baking pan from oven and place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Gradually lift foil wrap to release steam and then remove. Let beets cool for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered, until cool enough to handle.

Using rubber or latex gloves, slip skin off of each beet and discard. Cut each beet into 1-inch cubes and place on a plate. Reserve oil and garlic in baking dish.

Using your hands, squeeze each garlic clove out of its skin and place it back into baking dish with roasting oil. Smash garlic cloves with a fork. Stir chopped shallot and 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar into garlic-oil mixture. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add more oil as needed to emulsify dressing. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Arrange arugula on a large platter. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of dressing over greens and toss. Scatter beet greens over arugula and spoon cubed beets on top. Crumble goat cheese or feta cheese over beets and scatter toasted walnuts over cheese. Drizzle salad with some of the remaining dressing and top with fresh ground black pepper to your liking.

Makes 4-6 large servings.

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