When I went to upload the photo for this post, I was surprised to see a message telling me that the photo beetsalad.jpg already existed on the system and did I want to overwrite it? And so I went back to the site and did a quick search and - lo, and behold - discovered that Barrett beat me to this idea in December of 2004. (I was rather busy that month, getting ready for and recovering from the birth of a wonder-child.)
Our recipes were similar but not exactly the same, so I'm posting mine anyway. The recipe I used as a point of departure on www.epicurious.com, like Barrett's, called for blue cheese. I instead opted for a soft goat cheese (not pictured, tossed it on at the last minute after the photo was taken). The epicurious recipe called for mixed baby greens, but I decided instead to use the beautiful crimson-stained leaves of the beets themselves as a base.
I found that the beet leaves were a bit tougher than I expected and so in the future, I would actually recommend a mixture of lettuces, including some - no more than a third - beet greens. Aside from that small criticism, the salad was lovely. I'm in love with mustard seeds lately and found that they gave a great sharp bite to the salad, in addition to the wonderful nubby texture. And the goat's cheese was/is in season, organic and locally produced, creamy and just slightly salty and sharp. A taste of spring.
Beet and Beet Greens Salad with Mustard Seeds
2-3 beets, with the top leaves intact and still reasonably fresh
5-6 hearts of palm
2-3 handfuls of mixed salad greens
1 Tbs mustard seeds
100 grams fresh goat cheese
For the dressing:
1 heaping teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
3 Tbs olive oil
pinch of salt
Cut the greens from the beets and reserve. Drop the beets in boiling water and cook until tender, about half an hour. Drain the beets and cool them under running water. Slip off the rough outer skin and chop them in 1-2 cm cubes. Wash and slice the beet leaves in thin strips. Mix the beet leaves with the other mixed greens and toss the beets, tomatoes, hearts of palm and goat cheese.
Make the vinaigrette: mix the vinegar and and mustard and salt together very well. Whisking, slowly add the olive oil so that it makes a smooth creamy emulsion. It doesn't have to be smooth, but it's prettier and fairly easy to achieve if you add the oil slowly enough.
Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and then toss the mustard seeds over the whole. They will stick to the glistening dressed leaves and look very pretty.