When the world hands you glorious beet greens, use them. Ted found wonderful beets at Island Meadow, one of our favorite organic farms out on the island. He made the beets for dinner but the greens came back with us to Seattle. Snip, snip and the greens were in a vase on the ottoman in town to be enjoyed this week. While amazing to sauté up, beet greens are incredibly visual. The ruby spine set against the green greens quite something.
Many of the farm stands have had beets as part of their offerings. This is a simple salad that is hearty and I think looks so cool with the contrast of the deep hue of the beets and the white of the smattering of feta. Beets can be intimidating and messy. Here is how I cook them to try and avoid both.
Turn oven to 400. Snip the green from the beets. Wash and dry with a paper towel. Put all the beets onto a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the beets are somewhat soft to the touch. This will vary greatly depending on the size. Once done, take out of the oven and set aside to cool completely. Scatter a handful of walnuts onto another baking sheet and put into oven. Every few minutes shake the sheet to move the walnuts around. You are really just wanting to get them to release their natural oils, so stay with them and take out of the oven when they start of get added color. 5 to 10 minutes max. Set aside. Once the beets have cooled, now you get to cut away the wrinkly skin. I like to do this on a plate, as beets with stain the heck out of cutting boards. With a sharp knife, cut away all the skin of the beet. Then half or quarter beet and put into a large bowl. Do this with the rest of the beets. Once done, add a bit of the very best extra virgin olive oil you have. Add salt and pepper. Mix. Put this mixture onto a plate or platter. Take cooled walnuts and break up a bit and scatter on top of beets. Do the same with good feta. Kind of like snow falling. I like the combo of tiny pieces and large pieces. Lastly, add a few pinches of fresh cracked black pepper to the top. Done. Enjoy.