WARM BEET AND ONION SALAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium red beets with leafy tops, each about 6.5cm in diameter
  • Extra virgin olive oil

DRESSING

  • 1 medium orange
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, cut into four 1.5cm slices
  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce

METHOD

  • Trim the leafy tops from the beets leaving about 1.5cm attached; reserve the tops. Leave the root ends intact. Scrub the beets under cold water. Lightly spray or brush with olive oil. Grill over indirect medium heat (180°C to 230°C), with the lid closed, until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on size, turning once. Remove from the grill and let stand until cool enough to handle. Trim the ends from the beets and discard. Rub off the skins. Cut the beets into 1/2cm to 1.5cm slices and place the red beets and the golden beets in separate bowls (to keep the red beets from dying the golden beets red).
  • Wash and dry the orange. With a zester, scrape off 1 tablespoon of zest. Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to remove enough strips of zest to total 1 tablespoon when finely chopped. Reserve the zest.
  • Cut the remaining skin and white pith from the orange and, working over a medium bowl, separate the orange into sections, letting the sections and any juice fall into the bowl. Add the reserved orange zest and the remaining dressing ingredients to the orange sections, including pepper to taste. Gently stir to combine.
  • Lightly brush the onion slices with some of the dressing and grill over direct medium heat until tender, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Keep the lid closed as much as possible during grilling. Remove from the grill and allow to cool slightly, then separate into rings.
  • Rinse the reserved leafy tops of the beets under cold water. Select the smallest, most tender leaves and place with the romaine lettuce in a large bowl. Add half of the dressing and toss. Divide the lettuce mixture among four salad plates. Top with the beets and the onion rings and drizzle on the remaining dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

PREP TIME

Prep time: 30 minutes
Grilling time: 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 hours
Serves: 4

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