A simple but elegant salad that looks great on the plate because the mix of colors (especially if you use beets of different colors); and taste great because of the combination of the sweetness of the roasted beets (don't cook them in water) complemented by the candied pecans with the saltiness of the cheese and olives and the tartness of the dressing. Inspired by my love for salty-sweet food, the amount of beets I get from the local farm delivery and a favorite salad in a neighborhood restaurant.
6 small beets or 4 large ones (mix of purple, golden or others for color)
3/4 pound Green bean or Haricot Verts
1/4 of red onion sliced thinly
4 tablespoons of Kalamata olives sliced or dry cured black olives
3-4 tablespoons of Gorgonzola cheese crumbled
3 tablespoons of candied pecans chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup of tangy olive oil (I have used one from Sicily)
Warm the over to 400 degrees.
Peel the beets and cut them to quarters. Put in a baking sheet and pour the olive oil on the beets and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes or so in the lower part of the oven. Take the tinfoil off and roast for another 20 minutes until the beets are soft but not mushy and hold their shape well.
Take the out of the oven, put in a salad bowl and let them cool a bit.
Mix the dressing in a jar.
When the beets are still a bit warm add the onions and the dressing. This way the beets absorb more of the dressing and the onion become kind of pickled.
Boil a pot with water, add salt and cook the green beans for 7-10 minutes until softer but still have a bite and still bright green. Remove from the water and transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
Add the green beans and olives to the salad bowl and mix well.
Just before serving (at room temperature) sprinkle with the cheese and the pecans.