Beet Salad With Sunflower Seed Picada
In Spain, a picada is a combination of chopped garlic, bread and nuts, and usually used to thicken and flavor a sauce. Here, it adds a crispy, nutty element to the salad.
- 12 mixed beets, each about 2″ in diam.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/4 cup cold-pressed sunflower oil
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, halved lengthwise
- 1/2 cup cubed country-style bread, crusts removed
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 bunch watercress, thick stems removed
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- To roast beets, preheat oven to 325ºF. Toss beets with vegetable oil and salt. Place on parchment-lined baking tray. Roast until tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours. When cool enough to handle, trim and peel. (If skins don’t rub off, use paring knife.)
- While beets are roasting, combine shallots and vinegar in bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Whisk in honey and sunflower oil.
- For presentation, cut each color of beet into a different shape — for example, red into wedges, golden into cubes and rainbow into slices. Place each color beet into a separate mixing bowl. Toss all beets with some dressing, salt and pepper. Refrigerate up to 1 day. Serve at room temperature.
- To make picada, heat olive oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Line baking sheet with paper towel. Cook garlic until golden brown, 2 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to baking sheet. Cook bread, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 2 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet. (Let oil cool and save for another use.)
- In bowl of food processor, pulse garlic and bread until coarse crumbs form. Add sunflower seeds. Pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer to bowl. Stir in parsley. Season with salt.
- To make salad, toss watercress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Arrange on serving platter. Top with beets. Sprinkle with some picada.