How to Make a Perfect Beet Salad

Serves 6 to 8

For the garlic confit:

  • 1/2cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2large heads garlic, bottoms cut off, broken into cloves, and peeled
  • 2fresh bay leaves
  1. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, garlic cloves, and bay leaves. Edge the heat to medium-low — just enough heat that oil bubbles ever so gently. Cook until garlic is fragrant and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
  2. Pour into a jar, cool, and seal. Use the garlic oil and poached cloves for cooking. Garlic will keep up to 4 weeks in the fridge.
For the marinated beet salad:

  • 8medium beets with greens (about 2 bunches)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 6oil-poached garlic cloves (from the recipe above)
  • 2tablespoons raspberry wine vinegar
  • 1tablespoon garlic-infused extra-virgin olive oil (from the recipe above)
  • 1teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 to 1/4teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (according to taste)
  • 3green onions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Scrub the beets. Trim all but 1/4 inch of the greens and reserve. Set whole beets in a deep baking dish, add water to a 1/4-inch depth, sprinkle beets generously with sea salt, and cover tightly with foil. Roast beets for 40 to 50 minutes, or until fork tender. Run beets under cold water and peel off skins. Trim the tops and then slice beets into 1/2 inch-thick wedges.
  3. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the garlic. Whisk in the raspberry wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, soy, maple, and spices, along with a generous pinch of sea salt.
  4. In a large bowl, toss beets with vinaigrette. Cover and set in fridge to marinate — preferably overnight, but for at least an hour.
  5. Just before serving, chop 1 bunch beets greens and mince the green onions. Toss greens and green onions with the beets, adjust salt and acid levels, and serve. (Note: Things are going to get very pink — to preserve the green hue of the beet tops, leave a few out of the mix and tuck in or scatter around the salad when plating.)