Simplicity. What appears as the easiest dish to make in both ingredients and tastes is often the hardest to get right. Simple dishes generally combine just a few ingredients and yet are able to blow you away with the combination of flavors.
I love simple dishes. Traveling to Italy introduced me to simplicity at its finest. We tried a lot of food but it is the simple ones that stuck with me the most. Mainly because of the complex flavors developed from a handful of simple ingredients. They are the ones I’m attempting to recreate here at home. Cacio e pepe is just cheese and fresh cracked black pepper. It’s combined with a little olive oil, some pasta water and fresh noodles. And it’s tastes heavenly!
At one restaurant, we did an awesome chef’s tasting menu and everything was wonderful but it was the simple red sauce and fresh spaghetti noodles that will have me going back to the place. There was nothing complicated about the sauce but it was one of the best red sauces I have ever had. Tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and possibly some basil. Nothing more, nothing less. At another, fresh peeled pair halves and pecorino cheese slices drizzled with honey and fresh cracked black pepper. These dishes are so simple and yet they imparted so much flavor and fabulous tastes, they left lasting impressions on my memories of Italy.
I kept simplicity in mind when creating the beet salad I’m sharing with you today. It’s simple, easy and elegant. It’s perfect for anytime, including adding to the upcoming holiday menus. It will also appeal to everyone even those who don’t like beets. Roast a few beets, blend up a vinaigrette, top with a few chopped chives, seeds and cheese shavings and you have Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette. Simple, sweet, sour and yummy goodness on a plate.
Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
6 large golden beets (about the size of a baseball)
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cups roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 small shallot, about 1/8 cup
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. Fresh chives, chopped
1/4 cup Pecorino Shavings (Can also use Parmesan, Asigo or hard goat cheese)
Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, toss the beets and garlic in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the beet and garlic mix in foil and seal tightly. Place on a baking dish and roast for about an hour or until beets are tender. Unwrap and allow to cool. Save the roasted garlic for another dish.
Once cool, peel beets and cut into large wedges or chunks, your choice, for servings. Place into a large bowl.
Place the lime juice, shallots, honey and mustard in a blender and allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Pulse for a few seconds and then begin to slowly add the olive oil in through the top, allowing time for the mixture to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle about half of the vinaigrette over the prepared beets, tossing well to coat thoroughly. Place the beets on a serving dish and sprinkle with sunflower or pumpkin seeds, chopped shallots and large cheese shavings. Serve at room temperature with the rest of the vinaigrette on the side.
Beets can be roasted ahead of time but need to be at room temperature for serving.
More simple but yummy recipes for you to try: