Festive Holiday Salad of Reds & Greens

For holiday potlucks we like to do a little extra. Set on a bed of tender greens, this salad combines reds, greens and white as a holiday theme.holiday salad


Butter Lettuce, Mache, & Radicchio, dressed lightly with oil, vinegar and salt

Roasted Beets: Peel, slice into narrow vertical strips, drizzle with oil, vinegar, salt and optional pomegranate molasses. Set in an inner ring over greens.

Deviled Eggs: 12 eggs hard boiled. Yolks, mashed and  combined with a rounded teaspoon Dijon or your favorite mustard, a quarter teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Fill eggs with yolk mix. If any of the whites hopelessly break apart just add yolk to mixture and set aside or discard the whites. As a last step place eggs.

Parsley, rinsed and chopped, 1/3 cup…sprinkle over beets and salad greens followed by pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate Seeds: Purchase ready to use if possible. Used about 1/3 of a cup and provided a delightful crunch.

Place eggs around salad and take to your event. Do not cover with plastic wrap, it will make a mess of the eggs. Sit it all on a large tray or cookie sheet in back of car.

Roasting beets: I wrap them individually in foil and roast at 350 for about an hour. This time I made the mistake of not peeling shortly after roasting and that did not save time.

Roasted Beets

Roasting beets is pretty simple. I trim off the foliage, and leave an inch of root. Rinse and set the greens aside for later use. Give the roots a rinse, no need to scrub. Then wrap the beets in foil, depending on the size, wrap up to three together and place on a baking sheet. You will see recipes with roasting temperatures ranging from 475F downward to 325F. My suggestion is cook them when you are otherwise using the oven and still have extra space. Depending on temperature and size they will take one to two hours. A light squeeze using a hot pad indicates when they are cooked to a tender stage. Let cool in foil wrapper, trim tops, and slip off the skins. Leave any unused beets wrapped, and refrigerated for up to ten days. Since juices may leak, store them together in a plastic bag.
The flavor of home roasted beets is rich and intense. Salads can be sublimely simple with only a touch of olive oil, wine vinegar and salt. Add chunks on top of a tossed green salad for flavor and color, or garnish with a sprinkle of toasted walnuts and blue cheese. Beets are high in folic acid and betaine, a natural anti-inflammatory. Also despite their natural sweet taste they have only 74 calories per cup.