Roasted beets in a bacon jam and oregano vinaigrette

We get a lot of beets in the winter CSA box. Some might even say TOO many. Last night I found myself too lazy to make a green salad to accompany Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese, so I roasted up some beets and then mixed things up a little bit. Turns out it was the best beet salad I’ve ever done, so I’m writing it down. The earthiness of the beets, the smoke of the bacon, and the bright oregano note make a beautiful song together.

Ingredients below. This is a salad, and a salad dressing, so I’m counting on you to figure out proportions.

Beets (I had small ones, which are more tender, and a couple of Chioggias, score!!)

Bacon Jam

Balsamic vinegar (could sub apple cider vinegar)

Walnut oil (sub olive oil)

fresh oregano, chopped (could sub chopped preserved lemon)

Prep:

Scrub beets, remove tops and bottoms. Place in loaf pan or similar, cover with water, cover pan with foil. Bake in 350-degree oven until tender, about an hour. Cool until you can handle them, then peel with a paring knife. Cut into bite-sized chunks.

Melt a glob of bacon jam in some balsamic in a small saucepan over low heat, beating with a fork. Beat in oil, tasting until the balance is right. toss in herbs at the end, again to taste. The oregano is strong, so don’t overdo it. Add salt/pepper as needed.

Toss beets in vinaigrette (which will be pretty thick), then serve on salad plates, dribbling extra dressing over the top.

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