I love using vegetables people don't think they like or didn't like as children, such as beets and Brussels sprouts, to show people how fantastic the vegetables can be when they're handled right. Beets especially are a great starter vegetable for kids because they're so sweet. When the spring and summer vegetables--fava beans, peas, corn and tomatoes--have ended, that's when I turn to beets to fill the void; for me they're fall and winter vegetables. This is a straightforward beet salad we've done since the original Lola: sweet roasted beets with peppery watercress, tangy blue cheese and some crunch and nuttiness from walnuts, all tied together by a sweet and acidic vinaigrette using orange, honey, balsamic (the better your balsamic, the better your salad will be) and extra-virgin olive oil. With big vegetable salads like this, or with big tomato salads, I like to serve lots of vinaigrette so that the salad is very juicy. Because the vinaigrette is not highly acidic, you can use it plentifully; the acidity of the cheese, such as the Buttermilk Blue from Roth Kase in Wisconsin, picks up the slack.
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