Recipe courtesy Modern Market Eatery Chef Nate Weir
Chef’s Note: “Although beets are a fall/winter vegetable, you can often find baby beets in spring at farmers markets. They’re smaller and sweeter, and because the skin is so thin, they can be sliced and eaten raw. If you can’t find spring beets, substitute spring radishes, using a mixture of both roasted and thinly sliced.”
1½ cups neutral-flavored oil (canola, safflower or sunflower)
2 large lemons, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional, but highly recommended)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Measure oil and set aside. Place lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, chili flakes and salt in a blender. With blender on medium-high speed, slowly add oil in a thin stream until dressing emulsifies.
4 ounces fresh spinach
½ cup roasted beets (find Weir’s recipe at boulderhg.com)
3 tablespoons pickled shallots, drained
(store-bought or find Weir’s recipe at boulderhg.com)
3 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons toasted pepitas
1 ounce lemon-maple vinaigrette
Combine spinach, beets, shallots, feta and pepitas in individual salad bowls or one large serving bowl. Toss with vinaigrette and serve.
ROAST THE BEETS
2 pounds beets, equal amounts of red and gold
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Sea salt and pepper, to taste or about ¼ teaspoon of each
Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Rinse beets well, but do not peel. Cut the top and bottom off each beet and then cut each beet in half from top to bottom. Dice beets into 1-inch cubes.
In a bowl, toss beet cubes with oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Spread beets in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast beets in preheated oven until they are browned and can be easily pierced with a toothpick, about 30 minutes.
Let beets cool completely before removing the skins. Beets can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
PICKLE THE SHALLOTS
Note from the chef: “These are such a versatile ingredient! I usually make two or three pounds at a time to keep on hand. Try them on sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, tacos or eggs.”
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 cups water
1/3 cup agave nectar or honey
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 pound shallots
Combine all ingredients except shallots in a saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sweetener.
While waiting for pickling liquid to boil, peel and slice the shallots. Place cut shallots into a heat-safe bowl. As soon as liquid comes to a full boil, remove from heat and carefully pour over the sliced shallots. Stir to make sure all shallots are submerged.
Let shallots cool on the counter for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours. Once cool, transfer to an airtight container (mason jars are perfect) and refrigerate. Pickled shallots are good for up to 2 weeks; leave them submerged in the liquid and drain before using.