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Roasted Beet Salad
    Serves 6
    Isn’t it wonderful how beets and their bitter greens come together in one neat bunch. Golden beets are particularly sweet, and their greens are sturdy and tangy. This gratin is packed with the greens, enriched with egg, cheese, and milk, and encrusted, top and bottom, in a beautiful golden layer of sliced beets. It’s a gorgeous display of contrasting colors and rich flavors. If you roast your beets and blanch the greens when you get them home from the market, the gratin is quickly assembled.

Cook’s note: You can often get beet greens for free at farmers’ markets. Many shoppers ask the farmers to cut off the greens, and there is often a big box of them at the stalls that offer beets. If you don’t want to buy extra beets to get the extra greens called for in this recipe, ask the vendors if they have them, or watch for them cutting off the bunches for people.
1 large or 2 small bunches beets
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
to taste
1 small garlic clove, minced or put through a press
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chives, dill

1. Roast the beets. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Cut the greens off of the beets, leaving about 1/2 inch of the stems attached. Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish or oven-proof casserole. Add about 1/4 inch water to the pot. Cover tightly with a lid or foil, and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the beets are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. If not using right away, refrigerate in a covered bowl.

2. Mix together the vinegars, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. When the beets are cool enough to handle, trim the ends off, slip off their skins, cut in half, then slice into half-moon shapes. Toss with the salad dressing and the herbs.

Note: The beets are wonderful tossed with arugula or any other salad greens. Add a little feta and some roasted pine nuts for a truly wonderful mixed beet and lettuce salad.

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