I'm always looking for new ways to prepare our tomatoes. Yes they are delicious just as they are, with mozzarella and basil or in a tossed salad. But for variety's sake, it's nice to discover new recipes. So I was glad to see tomatoes on the cover of the September issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. While all the recipes look good, I started with a simple Beet and Tomato Salad, as I had just bought a lovely bunch of golden beets at a farm stand on the East End of Long Island. Before trying the recipe, I purchased a bunch of fresh purple beets from the Union Square Green Market, as well.
The magazine suggests roasting the beets, but I didn't want to turn the oven to 400 degrees in the summer heat, so I steamed them for about half an hour (in separate pots to make sure the golden beets didn't turn purple.) I let them cool, then peeled and sliced them, along with a couple of ripe Cherokee Purple tomatoes I had sitting on the counter. Then I laid out the beets and tomatoes on a nice platter, alternating by color and with the tomato. The real secret of the recipe is in the dressing. You dice up a small shallot and mix it with 3 teaspoons olive oil with 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, fresh black pepper and sea salt and drizzle the mix over the platter. Top with fresh oregano leaves. The sweetness of the beets mixes with the tang of the tomato to create an incredible taste sensation. This is a great and unique summer salad that is super healthy, and easy to prepare.
Beet and Tomato Salad:
2 medium beets (about 1 pound total), 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil,
Coarse salt, Ground pepper, 1 small shallot, minced, 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, 3 medium beefsteak tomatoes, fresh oregano leaves
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place scrubbed beets on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet. Top with 2 teaspoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold foil around beets and crimp ends to form a pocket. Roast beets on sheet until tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove beets from foil and let cool, then peel and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 remaining teaspoons olive oil, shallot and 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
3. On a large platter, arrange beets and 3 medium beefsteak tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves. Salad can be enjoyed at room temperature. Add herbs or croutons if desired just before serving.
Source: September issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine (everydayfood.com).