Updated 09/21/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Roasted Beet Salad with Carrots, Onions, Celery, Toasted Walnuts and Feta Cheese
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12 small or 6 medium large beets
2 medium onions, peeled and rough chopped
5-6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
2-3 ribs celery, rough chopped (see hints below)
olive oil as needed for coating chopped veggies (3-4 Tbs)
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme (optional)
1 - 1 1/2 cups walnut halves
2 tsp olive oil
salt to taste
bottled or homemade balsamic vinaigrette for dressing salad (see hints below)
crumbled feta cheese as needed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and, if you end up buying larger beets, you can cut them in half or even into quarters. Either way, wrap them up tightly in an aluminum foil packet or two and place those onto a baking tray and into the preheated oven.
Make sure to cut the beets into similar sizes so they cook in the same amount of time and, depending on the size, they'll take about 1 hour to roast.
Peel and rough chop 2 medium onions and peel and cut 5-6 medium carrots into 1/2-inch thick slices and also rough chop 2-3 ribs of celery and toss all of those into a large mixing bowl with a good splash of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, an optional 1 Tbs fresh chopped thyme.
Roast those in a single layer, uncovered, on a baking tray in the oven.
Add a couple tsp of olive oil to a heavy bottomed pan on the stovetop and toast the walnuts for a few minutes, then season with salt to taste and take out of the pan to cool.
You'll easily be able to insert a knife into the center of the beets when they're done, and you'll also easily be able to insert a knife into the carrots when they're done so take either tray out at that point, one may be done earlier than the other.
After they're out of the oven, open up the foil packets so that the beets can cool down to room temperature and then you'll want to peel them and slice them into bite size pieces.
At that point add the rest of the roasted vegetables to the sliced beets and lightly toss those with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
Divide the salad onto individual plates and top them with crumbled feta cheese and toasted walnuts.
Be careful peeling and slicing cooked beets, they can stain anything they come in contact with.
Substitute fresh rough chopped fennel for the celery.
To make your own dressing, combine 2-3 parts extra virgin olive oil with 1 part balsamic vinegar, a little dollop of Dijon mustard and a little salt and pepper to taste.