Taking a summer classic into fall
Roasted Beet Caprese
A caprese salad is one of my summer favourites, with the bright acidity of fresh tomatoes contrasting with luscious milky mozzarella and basil – quintessential Italian flavour at its finest. It’s so simple but can take a nosedive when tomatoes are even remotely out of season and they turn mealy and bland, losing that fresh-from-the-garden perfection.
Now that we’re heading into Fall, I thought of this idea for a different take on the caprese, with roasted beets instead of tomatoes. I used tarragon instead of basil here, but if you’re a purist basil actually goes really with beets.
I like using golden or yellow beets over the red variety – they’re much easier to work with and don’t have the same mess factor. If you do opt for red beets, keep a pair of rubber gloves handy to avoid staining your hands and cover any white surfaces – the last time I cooked red beets my kitchen looked like a murder scene from American Horror Story.
Roasted beets can be kept refrigerated for up to a week. Best to keep all ingredients chilled and assemble the salad just before serving.
- 6 – 8 roasted golden beets (ideally the same size)
- 3 – 4 rounds buffalo mozzarella
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- Rinse beets in cold water and trim the stem and root ends.
- Pat dry with a paper towel, then spray the beets lightly with cooking spray.
- Wrap beets in aluminum foil, 2 – 3 at a time, and place foil packets on a cookie sheet
- Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until the point of a knife pierces easily into the beets with no resistance. Let cool overnight.
- When cool, peel the beets with a sharp paring knife
- Combine chopped tarragon, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper in a small bowl to make the dressing – set aside.
- In a separate bowl, toss arugula in 1 tbsp dressing
- Slice beets and mozzarella into ¼-inch slices and arrange on a plate, overlapping slightly
- Spoon 1 tbsp dressing over each serving
- Garnish with dressed arugula and serve