Photograph by Theo Vamvounakis Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Lovers Beet Salad

Starters from Issue 6 – Fall / Winter 2015 – Magic

Beets, with their deep garnet hue and flesh that leaves an inky trail, are, as vegetables go, pretty sexy. Appearances are not deceiving: they contain boron, a mineral that boosts sex hormones. No wonder then that ancient Romans thought their juice affected their juices, and that there is a folklore that eating from the same beetroot will cause two people to fall in love. A sense of longing you will feel for our beet salad with horseradish-tinged dressing and fried capers.

serves 4

  • 1 ¼ lb small beets, scrubbed
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp jarred horseradish
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup drained capers
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • ½ crème fraîche
  • 2 Tbsp chopped chives

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Place beets on aluminum foil, drizzle with 1 tsp oil, then fold and seal to make a packet. Put on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Open packet and let beets cool slightly until cool enough to handle.

  • 2

    In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, horseradish, Dijon, and ½ cup oil. Season with salt and pepper. Peel beets and cut into halves or quarters. Toss with vinaigrette.

  • 3

    Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Pat capers dry. When oil is hot, not smoking, add capers and fry until crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Fry sunflower seeds until golden. Drain alongside capers.

  • 4

    Serve beets with crème fraîche, extra dressing, capers, sunflower seeds, and chives.