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Beet Salad with Chevre

Beet Salad with Chevre
Kevin Weeks for NPR /

Brightly flavored, colorful and dead easy, this can be prepped in advance and then assembled 10 minutes before serving. The sweet beets are great with a tangy chevre (goat cheese) and the sherry vinaigrette complements both the beets and cheese. I used a mesclun mix and added pea sprouts for an earthy note, but mesclun alone would be fine.

Makes 16 servings

3 pounds beets (ideally, red and golden)

1 1/2 cups olive oil

1/2 cup sherry vinegar

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 cup chopped fresh mint

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 medium red onions, thinly sliced into rounds

8 cups mesclun mix

4 cups pea sprouts

8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Trim greens from beets, but do not peel or cut into beet itself to prevent bleeding. Put whole beets in a large pot and bring to a boil in water. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer beets to an ice bath to stop cooking.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and add 1/2 cup mint. Place onions in a bowl, coat with some of the vinaigrette and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Cut beets into bite-sized pieces (they'll bleed, so cut them over the sink). Arrange greens on a platter, add beets, sprinkle with goat cheese and remaining mint and dress with vinaigrette.

In advance: Cook, peel and slice beets a day in advance. Seal in a plastic container and refrigerate. You can also make the vinaigrette a day in advance. The mint in the dressing will wilt, but the flavor will be even more pronounced.

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