Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
Nothing could get me to eat my grandmother Galasso's beet salad. Her purple stained fingers were a tip-off that boiled beets were in the refrigerator. And now, I have trouble getting my family to eat them, so I've dressed them up in a zippy dressing that is very refreshing. Baking instead of boiling the beets prevents the juices and color from leaching out.
2 pounds (4 to 6) beets
1/3 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
Salt to taste
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 small head red-leaf lettuce, cleaned and separated into leaves
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Remove any leaves from beets and cut the stems, leaving about 2 inches of stem attached. Wash and dry the beets well. Wrap each in aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife can easily be inserted. Unwrap and let cool.
In a flat shallow serving dish, mix the remaining ingredients except the eggs, lettuce, and mint sprigs.
Peel the beets, cut off and discard the remaining stems, and slice the beets into 1/4-inch rounds. Place beets in the marinade and gently toss with a spoon. Cover the dish and let beets marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
To serve, divide the lettuce leaves among 4 salad plates. Place some of the beets on top of each dish and garnish with a few egg slices. Add a mint sprig to each plate, if you wish. Serve immediately.