The sun came out for FOUR WHOLE DAYS here in Massachusetts and I spent the time at my family’s beach house taking in as much as possible. The fourth of July is always one of my favorite times of year at the cape and this year was no exception, as a full house of family and friends joined us for the celebration of America, and my dad’s 60th birthday. The weekend consisted of boat rides, sun tanning, cookouts, cocktails, fireworks and A LOT of laughs. I forgot about emails and couldn’t remember which day it was. And it didn’t really matter. And that was nice. Really, really nice.
And just when I thought the weather had turned over a new leaf for July, we returned home to a hail storm, and people canoeing down our street because a river overflowed. Seriously. However, flood or no flood I HAD to pick up my CSA share. Among this week's bounty, I was greeted with a large bunch of red beets. But I assure you, the beets alone were worth the adventure.
Roasted Beet Salad with Olive Croutons & Ricotta Salata
adapted from Gourmet . serves 4
4-6 large beets, stems trimmed to 3/4"
6 c packed endive (or baby arugula)
1/4 lb ricotta salata, sliced thin or crumbled
2 T kalamata olive paste
1 T olive oil
1 loaf french bread, sliced lengthwise
1/3 c finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 T whole-grain mustard
1 1/2 T white wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 t soy sauce
1/4 t salt
3 T olive oil
Preheat oven to 425F. Wrap beets tightly in foil and roast 1 hour. Carefully unwrap, and when cool, rub off skins with a paper towel and discard. Slice beets.
Place french bread on a baking sheet on spread with olive paste. Cut into 1" cubes and drizzle with olive oil. Broil 2-4 minutes until golden brown.
In a small bowl add onion, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, and salt. While whisking, add oil in a slow stream.
To assemble, top endive with beets, croutons and ricotta salata. Drizzle with vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.