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
- 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.
- 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.
The roasted beet wedges and dressing can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
The natural sugar in beets pairs well with a Riesling that also has a bit of sweetness.