Roasted Beet or Turnip Salad


4 or 5 beets or turnips, greens removed and saved for another use
Olive Oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill or mint
1/2 cup walnuts, roasted
Feta or gorgonzola cheese (optional)


Preheat oven to 400° F.  

Scrub roots and remove greens. Drizzle the roots with olive oil and season with salt and  pepper. Wrap the roots in aluminum foil and crimp the sides closed, put them on a baking tray and put it in the oven.  The foil isn’t absolutely necessary, but it will help to keep the roots moist.  Cook the beets until they are tender – 45 minutes or more, depending on the size of the roots.  Note that if you are using the oven for another purpose and the temperature isn’t 400°, the roots will still roast well, but the time in the oven will vary.

While the roots are in the oven, prepare a vinaigrette with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of red wine vinegar.  Add the dill and shake it up. This salad will be great without the dill. Another surprisingly good option is mint. 

When the roots are cool enough to handle, you can slip their skins off by rubbing them with a paper towel.  This is step that isn’t absolutely necessary, but the skin can sometimes be a bit off flavor or bitter.  If the peel doesn’t come off easily after roasting, it may not really be necessary to take it off. Slice up the rooots while they are still warm (they absorb the vinaigrette better when warm), and pour the vinaigrette over them.  Top with the walnuts and season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the cheese, if you have it, over the salad right before serving.