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Food and Wine

A Salad for Autumn

beets_saladThere is just something deliciously magical about the combination of beets and feta. The beets in this salad have been roasted so they caramelize, and their flavor becomes sweeter and more concentrated. They create a wonderful contrast with the salty feta, and the combination in this dish achieves perfection. The roasted beets and feta are served on a salad of frisée and dressed with a tangy lemon dressing.

This salad would be a wonderful accompaniment for roasted fowl or meats and a perfect addition to your traditional Thanksgiving feast. It could also be a perfect luncheon entrée.

PAULA’S ROASTED BEETS WITH FETA ATOP FRISÉE

2 pounds small fresh beets

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

LEMON DRESSING

4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

4 ounces feta, crumbled (½ cup)

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

1 large head frisée lettuce

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Wash the beets and trim the stem ends to 1 inch. Peel the beets and cut them into quarters. Coat beets with ¼ cup of the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the beets in a shallow roasting pan just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Tightly cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour, or until tender. Remove from the oven, loosen the foil, and place on a rack to cool. When cooled, transfer the beets to a bowl.

LEMON DRESSING

Whisk the lemon juice, the remaining ½ cup oil, dill, and lemon peel and orange peel together in a bowl.

Pour half of the dressing over the beets when they have cooled. Toss to combine. Sprinkle the feta and black pepper over the beets. Toss to combine and set aside.

Wash and spin the frisée to dry it. Place the lettuce in a dishtowel, roll up and place in the refrigerator until serving time.

When ready to serve, tear the frisée into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the remaining half of the dressing over the frisée and toss to well coat the lettuce.

Transfer the lettuce to a low serving dish and mound the beets and feta on top. Grate additional pepper over the salad.

Serve at room temperature.

Serves 6 to 8.

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