There’s a lot to love about a beet salad. First, beets are one of only a few vegetables that grow year-round in Pennsylvania, allowing for a pop of local freshness even on the grayest of winter days. Casbah Executive Chef Dustin Gardner added a roasted beet salad to the menu years ago. It quickly became a crowd favorite, securing its place on the menu permanently. What can — and should — change this dish is the greens that go into it. Use what’s fresh and seasonal, and what appeals to you, Gardner encourages. “Bitter greens go well; we often use dandelion greens or red oaks. Even butter lettuce would work.”
1 pound roasted beets
1 handful local greens
2 tablespoons Marcona almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup whipped ricotta
3-finger pinch fine herbs
1/4 cups French green lentil vinaigrette (recipe below)
Plate ricotta, then toss all other ingredients in dressing. Scoop onto ricotta, and top with almonds.
French Green Lentil Vinaigrette
2 cups red vinegar
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 pinch Dijon mustard
3 cups extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon thyme
1 cup cooked lentils
Emulsify all of the ingredients except for the lentils. Once emulsified, but still in the blender, add half of the cooked lentils. Pulse for a few seconds. Pour into vessel, along with remaining lentils.
Pro Tip: For easy peeling, add a splash of vinegar to the beets as they cook.