Jim Franco
Makes 6 to 8 servings

The different colors and textures make this a lovely first course. It's better to layer than toss this salad so the beets won't stain the other ingredients. Prep: 20 minutes, Bake: 40 minutes.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400º. Place beets on a lightly greased 8-inch square glass baking dish. (If using both red and golden beets, separate on different sides of pan to prevent red from bleeding onto golden.) Pour 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and next 4 ingredients over beets; season with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 400° for 40 to 45 minutes or until tender. Uncover and let cool to room temperature, reserving beet juice. Peel beets (see tips, below), and slice into 1/4-inch rounds.

Step 2

Separate leaves of endive, and tear radicchio into large pieces; arrange on a large platter or shallow bowl. Layer beets, oranges, fennel, and onion.

Step 3

Whisk mustard and remaining 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar into reserved beet juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve with salad. Garnish, if desired.

Step 4

Sara's tips for cooking beets:

Step 5

You can use different varieties of beets interchangeably. Whole baby beets are nice in a salad. I also like yellow beets for both their mild flavor and beautiful color.

Step 6

Roast beets for the best flavor.

Step 7

Peel beets by hand after they're cooked. The peel slips off easily, but it can be messy--wear gloves and an apron, and rub skin off with a paper towel.

Step 8

Don't rinse peeled beets under running water. You'll wash away the wonderful flavor you just cooked into them.

Step 9

Lightly rub a pumice stone over your soapy fingers if beets stain your hands.

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