Roasted Beets with Cheese-Stuffed Dates


Luscious Medjool dates are preferable for this salad because they&39;re large and easy to stuff.

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  1. 8 small beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed
  2. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios
  5. 1/2 cup Roquefort cheese (about 3 ounces), softened
  6. 2 teaspoons heavy cream
  7. 12 large dates, preferably Medjool, halved and pitted
  8. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  9. 2 tablespoons sugar
  10. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  11. 5 Belgian endives, cored and cut into thin lengthwise strips
  12. 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  13. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  14. 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  15. 3 tablespoons minced chives
  16. 1 large bunch watercress, large stems discarded
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, toss the beets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set the beets in a baking dish and add about 1/2 cup of water to cover the bottom of the dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, or until the beets are tender when pierced. If the water evaporates, add more to the dish. Let cool slightly, then peel the beets and cut each into 8 wedges. Return the beets to the baking dish. Leave the oven on.
  2. In a mini processor, finely grind the pistachios. Spread out on a plate. In a bowl, blend the Roquefort with the cream. Spoon a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese into each date half. Roll the dates in the pistachios, pressing to coat.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the sugar and 1/2 tablespoon of the lemon juice and cook over moderate heat until the sugar starts to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Add the endives, stir to coat and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to moderately high and cook until any liquid in the pan has evaporated and the endives are lightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the sherry vinegar with the canola oil, walnut oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Rewarm the beets in the oven for about 4 minutes, or until heated through. Add 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss. Add the chives and season with salt and pepper. Rewarm the endives in the skillet until heated through.
  5. Toss the watercress with the remaining 2 tablespoons of dressing. Arrange 8 beet wedges on each salad plate. Spoon the caramelized endives onto the plates and top each serving with 3 stuffed dates. Garnish with some of the watercress and serve.
Make Ahead
The beets can be prepared 1 day in advance.