Cookbook author Deborah Madison turns a classic beet-and-walnut salad into something surprising (and quite delicious) by using both lightly crunchy grated raw beets and seared-until-sweet-and-blistered cooked ones.
Slideshow:Recipes for Beets
2/3 cup walnuts (2 ounces)
3 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil
Smoked sea salt
3 medium golden beets (about 1 3/4 pounds), 1 peeled and shredded on a box grater
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons Banyuls or balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
1 large head of radicchio, cored and shredded
2 ounces Maytag blue cheese, crumbled
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread out the walnuts on a pie plate and toast for 8 minutes, until golden. Toss the walnuts with 1/2 tablespoon of the walnut oil and a pinch of smoked salt and let them cool.
Cut the 2 unpeeled beets into 8 wedges each. Set a steamer basket over 2 inches of boiling water. Add the beets, cover and steam until tender, 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then rub off the skins. Slice 1/4 inch thick.
In a skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the steamed beets and cook over high heat until blistered in spots, 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
In a bowl, whisk the shallot, vinegar and remaining 3 tablespoons of walnut oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the dressing with smoked salt and pepper.
In a bowl, toss the shredded beet with the radicchio and half of the dressing. Mound the salad on a platter. In the same bowl, toss the cooked beets with the remaining dressing, season with smoked salt and pepper and arrange around the salad. Top with the walnuts and blue cheese.
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