Beet Salad with Watercress and Fresh Pecorino

Seattle chef Ethan Stowell uses beets two different ways in this recipe. He roasts some of them, giving the salad a sweet flavor, and he thinly shaves the rest for a fresh, earthy crispness.

Slideshow:More Great Salads

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  • Servings: 8

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  • 2 pounds small beets (preferably Chioggia), 1/4 pound peeled and very thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 bunches watercress (6 ounces each), thick stems discarded
  • 6 ounces young Pecorino cheese, such as Toscano or Sardo, shaved

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small baking dish, rub the whole beets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and roast the beets for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a knife. Let cool, then peel the beets and cut them into wedges.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk the 3/4 cup of olive oil with the orange juice and balsamic vinegar; season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the roasted beet wedges, shaved beets, watercress and shaved Pecorino and toss well to coat. Transfer to a large platter and serve right away.

Make Ahead

The roasted beet wedges and dressing can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Suggested Pairing

The natural sugar in beets pairs well with a Riesling that also has a bit of sweetness.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published July 2011

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