With their bright red juice, deep flavor and succulent flesh, beets might as well be the official vegetable of Halloween. (Pumpkins are fruit, remember.)
This beet salad is from Stella McCartney, who wrote a new book, “The Meat Free Monday Cookbook: A Full Menu for Every Monday of the Year” (Kyle Books, $22.95) with Annie Rigg as well as her dad, Sir Paul, and sister Mary.
She candies pecans while roasting beets inside a foil packet and preparing the endive leaves. The beets are easy to peel and slice after they’ve been in the oven for about an hour, and although the endive has a bitter taste, the candied nuts, pears and feta take off the earthy edge.
BEET, RED ONION AND ENDIVE SALAD
5 golf ball-size beets, trimmed of stalk and leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 cup pecans
2 tablespoons honey
2 red onions, cut into wedges
3 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
2 ripe pears, quartered, cored and sliced
2 heads endive, trimmed into separate leaves
Large handful of arugula
1 heaping cup feta, crumbled
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons walnut oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 rounded teaspoon Dijon mustard
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a large piece of foil in a small roasting pan, put the beets in the middle, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with half of the olive oil and the red wine vinegar. Wrap the foil over and seal tightly. Roast the beets for 1 hour or until tender when tested with the point of a sharp knife. Remove from the roasting pan, unwrap and cool.
Put the pecans in the roasting pan and drizzle with the honey. Stir to coat then roast for about 10 minutes until sticky and glazed. Remove from the roasting pan and cool the nuts on a plate. Put the onions on a baking sheet, add the garlic cloves, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes, until tender and starting to caramelize.
To make the dressing, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins into a small bowl, add the walnut oil, lemon juice and mustard and gently whisk until just combined. Peel the beets and cut into wedges. In a large serving bowl, layer the beets, onion, pears, endive, wild arugula, crumbled feta and honey roast pecans. Generously drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Source: “The Meat Free Monday Cookbook: A Full Menu for Every Monday of the Year” by Annie Rigg with Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney (Kyle Books, $22.95)