March 17, 2013

Beet Salad with Crispy Crumbs and Egg


Beet Salad with Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

Last week at the grocery store, I spotted some beets with very spry looking greens attached so I grabbed them and decided to make a salad using the whole lot. If you haven't tried raw beet greens...maybe this will inspire you. They're fairly mild tasting, sturdy, crunchy, and packed with vitamins.

I threw in radish for spiciness, green beans just because, hard boiled egg for richness and toasted bread crumbs to absorb a bit of the lemon-parmesan vinaigrette, infiltrate every part of the salad and contribute a crunchy little pop to every bite. 


The beets take time to cook, but you can do everything else while they roast (or cook them a day or two ahead of time and put in the refrigerator). To save time (and pots) I blanched the green beans in the water the eggs were boiling in (is that bad?). If you don't find nice beet greens you can substitute arugula or other hardy green. My daughter loved this and asked for it two nights in a row. And of course I made it because I'm a sucker for a compliment from a teenage girl. 


Beet Salad with Crispy Crumbs and Egg
Serves 2

4-6 beets with greens
3 radishes
½ lb. green beans
2 hard-boiled eggs

Lemon-Parmesan Vinaigrette
Makes about ¾ cup - you'll have some leftover (lucky you)

¼ cup lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup olive oil
Black pepper to taste

Crispy Crumbs
1 cup panko crumbs (or finely ground day-old baguette)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375ยบ. Trim off the greens on the beets and set aside. Wash beets, pierce with a fork, place a a piece of tinfoil, drizzle with olive oil and close tightly (the beets will steam - that's how you'll be able to slip their skins off). Place on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until a fork slides in easily. Remove from oven and, when cool enough to handle, slip them out of their skins and cut into small wedges.


Toss panko crumbs with olive oil and salt. Spread on a sheet pan and bake for 3 minutes (but WATCH them) or until golden.


Trim beet greens, rinse in ice-cold water and dry thoroughly. Roll leaves into a cigar shape and slice into thin ribbons.

Make dressing by whisking lemon juice, cheese and salt then adding oil in a slow stream.

Boil eggs. Trim green beans and blanch in boiling water for a few minutes, then run under very cold water and dry on a clean kitchen towel. I sliced my green beans lengthwise since they were on the plump side. Slice radishes thinly.

Peel and dice the eggs - why dice?  Like the bread crumbs, a smaller cut means more of them so you get a little with every forkful.

Toss the vegetables with the dressing then divide between two plates and top with egg and crispy crumbs.


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