If ever a salad tasted like autumn, this is it! Their earthiness and sugary-sweet qualities can make beets difficult to pair marry with other ingredients, but this salad gets it just right. Sweet saffron-colored beets and nutty, creamy roasted sunchokes team up with mildly bitter Treviso radicchio and salty olives and cheese to make a salad that embodies the harvest.
You can find this recipe–and many other tasty dishes–in the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook, available for sale at all market locations.
Photo: Charity Burggraaf
Golden Beet, Sunchoke, and Treviso Salad
by JC Mersmann, former chef at Gathering Together Farm and Restaurant (at the time of our Cookbook’s publication), now at The Dizzy Hen
Makes 6 servings
2 bunches golden, Chioggia or red beets (about 9 small beets)
3/4 cup olive oil, divided
1-1/2 to 2 pounds sunchokes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely diced shallot or red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
3 heads Treviso radicchio, leaves washed and dried
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 cups diced or crumbled feta cheese
Remove the beet greens and set aside for another use. Scrub the beets and place them in a pot large enough to hold them in a single layer. Cover with cold water by 2-inches and bring to a boil over medium high heat. When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the beets until the tip of a small paring knife goes in and comes out easily, about 40 minutes depending on the size of your beets. Remove the pot from the heat and drain the beets into a colander. When they are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut them in wedges.
While the beets are cooking, prepare the sunchokes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub the sunchokes to remove any dirt, checking carefully between the lobes; they don’t need to be peeled. Cut the sunchokes into 1/2-inch chunks, toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil and a pinch of salt, and roast in a single layer on a baking sheet for 25 minutes or until the outsides are brown and the sunchokes are cooked and creamy on the inside. Remove from the oven and cool.
While the sunchokes are in the oven, make the vinaigrette. In a small nonreactive bowl, combine the vinegar, shallots, salt, and sugar. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil, whisking constantly, until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Add the parsley and season to taste with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To assemble the salad, cut the Treviso leaves crossways into 1-inch ribbons and place them in a large bowl. Add the beet wedges and olives, and toss with the vinaigrette. Divide evenly between six plates and top each salad with the sunchokes and cheese.
Treviso is a variety of radicchio, shaped like a torpedo and with a more delicate flavor. The tapered heads range in color from pink to dark red, with white ribs. Like radicchio, it can be soaked in ice water for 30 minutes to remove any bitterness, but its muted acerbity is welcome in this salad.