Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
1 hour 30 minutes
Beets are the hidden gem of the kitchen. They come in looking rough and ragged. It’s hard to imagine coaxing anything delicious — or even worthwhile — from that rugged root. But with little more effort than throwing them in the oven for an hour, there’s an exquisite transformation. They’re suddenly sweet and delicate, and drop-dead gorgeous inside. Serve them with a fresh burst of orange juice and mint, and they no longer bear any resemblance to the sad, canned, crinkle-cut horrors of your salad bar nightmares. They’re the reigning jewels of Summer.
for the beets
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
If the beets are all the same size, place in a large piece of foil. If some are smaller than the others, separate by small and large in two pieces of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the thyme and wrap the foil to enclose. Put on a baking sheet and roast until they’re soft and they can easily be pierced by a knife tip, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, open the foil, and cool until you can comfortably slip off their skins (wear rubber gloves if you don’t want to look like a murderer).
for the dressing
Whisk together the shallot, orange juice, vinegar and oil in a large bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
for the salad
Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, chile flakes and a sprinkle of salt and stir until the seeds start to pop and turn light brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel.
Cut the beets into wedges or chunks, keeping the colors separate in two bowls (this keeps the colors from bleeding). Drizzle with the dressing and toss. Arrange on a serving platter. Scatter the cheese shavings and pumpkin seeds amongst the beets. Tear the mint leaves over top.