"My ultimate starter salad would celebrate the produce of the season and make a knockout-gorgeous addition to the table, so I developed this one using fresh orange juice, multicolored beets, and--for good measure--some creamy, tangy goat cheese." --Timothy Q. Cebula, Associate Food Editor
Cooking Light DECEMBER 2009
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Leave root and 1-inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place beets on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat beets with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until tender. Cool beets slightly. Trim off beet roots and stems; rub off skins. Cut beets into 1/2-inch-thick wedges.
3. Bring juice and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan; cook 10 minutes or until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Pour into a medium bowl; cool slightly. Add shallots, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.
4. Combine lettuce, watercress, and radicchio. Sprinkle lettuce mixture with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss gently to combine. Arrange about 1 cup lettuce mixture on each of 8 salad plates. Divide beets evenly among salads. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon dressing over each salad; sprinkle each salad with 1 tablespoon cheese.
Wine note: White wine is usually a good bet with salad, but the earthy and robust flavors in Winter Salad with Roasted Beets and Citrus Reduction Dressing allow this hearty course to handle a lighter red wine, such as Irony Monterey Pinot Noir 2006 ($16). The wine's berry fruit goes well with goat cheese, and its earthy mushroom flavors are enhanced by roasted beets, while tart acidity on the finish matches the citrus. --Jeffery Lindenmuth
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