These citrus-roasted beets are mixed with arugula and salty ricotta salata to make a refreshing salad. You can use baby beets, either red or golden; just reduce the cooking time.
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2 pounds medium beets
10 fresh thyme sprigs, plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme
5 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virign olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Freshly ground pepper
1 large bunch of arugula, torn into bite-size pieces
5 ounces ricotta salata or feta cheese, diced or crumbled
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a nonreactive 13-by-9-inch baking dish, combine the beets, thyme sprigs, garlic, white wine, orange juice and a pinch of salt. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 1/4 hours, or until the beets are tender. Let cool slightly, then peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch dice. Discard the cooking liquid.
In a large bowl combine the oil, vinegar, orange zest and minced thyme. Add the beats, season with salt and pepper and toss with the dressing. Toss the beets with the arugula, transfer to a platter and sprinkle the ricotta salata on top.
The dressed beets can be refrigerated overnight. Let return to room temperature before finishing the salad.
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