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.
IngredientsPrint Shopping List
|2||pounds beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into ¾-inch pieces|
|½||teaspoon plus 2 pinches table salt, divided|
|4||ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)|
|¾||cup sour cream|
|3||tablespoons minced fresh chives, divided|
|5||teaspoons lemon juice, divided, plus extra for seasoning|
|2||heads Belgian endives (8 ounces), bases trimmed, sliced crosswise into ½-inch-wide pieces|
|¼||cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and chopped, divided|
|1||tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided|
From The Shop
Be sure to wear gloves when peeling and dicing the beets to prevent your hands from becoming stained. The moisture content of blue cheese varies, so add the water slowly in step 2. Some blue cheese can be quite salty, so taste the cheese mixture carefully before seasoning. You can substitute 5 ounces of baby arugula for the endive, if desired. For the best presentation, use red beets here, not golden or Chioggia beets.
Total Time: 50 minutes
1. In largest bowl your microwave will accommodate, stir together beets, ⅓ cup water, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover with plate and microwave until beets can be easily pierced with paring knife, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through microwaving. Drain beets in colander and let cool.
2. In medium bowl, use rubber spatula to mash together blue cheese, sour cream, 2 tablespoons chives, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and pepper. Slowly stir in up to 5 tablespoons water until mixture has consistency of regular yogurt. Season with salt, pepper, and extra lemon juice to taste. Spread blue cheese mixture over serving platter.
3. In large bowl, combine endive, 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, 2 teaspoons oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and pinch salt and toss to coat. Arrange endive mixture on top of blue cheese mixture, leaving 1-inch border of blue cheese mixture. Add beets to now-empty bowl and toss with remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon oil, and remaining pinch salt. Place beet mixture on top of endive mixture. Sprinkle salad with remaining 2 tablespoons hazelnuts and remaining 1 tablespoon chives and serve.