Beet Salad with Blue Cheese and Endive
Why This Recipe Works
Beets are very dense, so roasting whole ones can take up to 2 hours (not including the time it takes for the oven to preheat and for the beets to cool before peeling). Instead, we peeled and cut the beets into small chunks and microwaved them in a covered bowl with a small amount of water. Peeling them before cooking cut out the wait time for them to cool. Cutting them into pieces exposed much more surface area so they cooked faster, and cooking them in the microwave (as opposed to on the stovetop) caused water molecules inside the beets to boil rapidly and intensely, so they cooked through in less than 30 minutes. Beets work well in any side dish, particularly in a salad with cheese, greens, and nuts. Instead of tossing the components together (which usually results in muddy-looking cheese and beets that sink to the bottom of the bowl), we used the cheese as an anchor for the other ingredients by thinning the blue cheese with sour cream, lemon juice, and water; spreading it on a platter; and topping it with lightly dressed beets and greens as well as toasted hazelnuts for crunch.