In the spring, beets are often sold at farmers' markets with their greens still attached. For this hearty salad, Ted Allen roasts the beets with garlic to make a creamy vinaigrette, then wilts the beet greens to toss with the asparagus salad. If you can't find beet greens, Swiss chard is an excellent substitute.
Slideshow: Make-Ahead Picnic Salads
1 bunch of medium beets with greens (1 3/4 pounds)
2 large garlic cloves, halved crosswise but not peeled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch of fat asparagus (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 ounces Quadrello or Taleggio cheese, sliced into six pieces
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut off and reserve the beet greens; discard the stems. Halve the beets. In a medium baking dish, combine the beets and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for about 1 hour, until the beets are tender. Let cool.
Meanwhile, spread the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for about 12 minutes, until tender. Let cool slightly, then cut into 2-inch pieces.
Coarsely chop the beet greens and rinse under cold water. Shake off the excess water. Heat a medium skillet. Add the greens, season with salt and pepper and toss over high heat until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
Peel the beets and cut them into 3/4-inch pieces. Squeeze the garlic from the skins into a medium bowl. Whisk in the vinegar and the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, add the beets and beet greens and toss. Transfer the beet salad to plates. Scatter the asparagus on top and serve each plate with a piece of cheese.
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