This colorful salad is delicious on its own, or served alongside Alex Stratta’s Goat Cheese and Fig Walnut Crepes for a sweet and savory dish.
For the salad:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3–4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 medium-sized red beets
- 3 medium-sized yellow beets, or 3 more red beets
- 2–3 small heads (6–8 ounces total) frisee, or about 8 cups mixed tiny salad greens
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted California walnuts
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- Salt and pepper to taste, if desired
For the vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 egg yolks, optional
- To prepare the roasted beets, preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the water, salt and thyme in a baking pan that will hold the beets comfortably on one layer. Remove all but 1-inch of the stems from the beets. (The beet greens can be cooked separately, if you wish, like spinach.)
- Rinse the beets well and place them in the prepared baking pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until the beets are tender when pierced. Uncover and cool to room temperature. Peel the beets and remove the remaining stems. Cut the beets into thin wedges or slices and place in a bowl. Refrigerate until needed. This step can be done one day ahead of time.
- To prepare the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, or in a tightly capped jar, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper, then whisk or shake to dissolve the salt. Add the mustard, olive oil and egg yolks, if using, then whisk or shake until the vinaigrette is smooth. Mix again before using.
- To assemble the salad, first remove the root end from each head of frisee, separating the head into leaves. In a bowl, toss the frisee with walnuts and half the vinaigrette, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In another bowl, toss the beets with the remaining vinaigrette and the chives. Season if desired with salt and pepper.
- To serve, divide the dressed frisee and the dressed beets among six plates.