Roast Baby Beets, Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Salata
I love cooking up a big family feast, and Thanksgiving is the best excuse to do just that. Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday because it revolves around eating, and no one is counting calories. More butter? Yes please!
Every since my husband’s family discovered that I actually like making Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve been the de facto Thanksgiving side dish chef. I get so bored making the same old things, so I always wrack my brain to come up with Thanksgiving side dishes that are new, interesting, and unique. Googling “unique Thanksgiving side dishes” leads to a surprisingly pitiful selection of played out dishes, or stuff that’s just plain weird.
I’ve been loving roast beets lately, and wanted to fancy them up a bit for Thanksgiving. This recipe for Roast Baby Beets, Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Salata is the perfect way to dress up beets, while keeping the prep simple.
Roast beets are sweet and mellow when you roast them uncovered with a bit of olive oil. Baby beets are best for this purpose, because you can halve them, roast for just over 30 minutes, and the cut side gets caramelized. Dandelion greens add a touch of bitterness, the ricotta salata adds savoriness, and the lemon & red wine vinaigrette brings it all together with acidity.
This dish looks pretty, tastes great, is easy to prepare, and can be made in advance and served at room temperature.
Serves 6-8 side dish portions | 1 hour prep & cooking time
- 2 pounds baby beets (~2″ diameter)
- 3 cups loosely packed young dandelion greens, or arugula
- 1/4 pound ricotta salata, thinly sliced
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub baby beets, and slice them in half lengthwise. Drizzle beets with olive oil, kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper. Roast for about 35 minutes, or until beets are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
- While baby beets are roasting, make the vinaigrette by combining juice from 1/2 a lemon, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, and 1/4 cup good quality olive oil. Add kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste.
- Once beets are cooked, let cool slightly, and toss in 2 tbsp of vinaigrette.
- Just before serving, toss dandelion greens in 1 tbsp of vinaigrette. Arrange roast baby beets and dandelion greens on a platter, and tuck slices ricotta salata between the beets and greens. Drizzle with the remaining tbsp of vinaigrette. Serve roast baby beets warm or at room temperature.