After living in Tokyo for the past two years, it can become difficult to get used to the humongous variety of food lining the the grocery store shelves and stocking the coolers, freezers, and produce department in the U.S. I feel more and more overwhelmed at the choices each time I come home. In Tokyo, it seems there are no more than 5 or 6 brands at the very most specializing in furikake, eggs, soba, etc. It’s like my version of culture-shock. Slowly but surely I begin to feel more at home in these grocery stores on steroids and I can start organizing my thoughts yet again. The key? Finding the simplicity that attracts me to various foods in Japan using common, fresh ingredients here in the U.S.
This Summer Roasted Beet Salad is symbolic of what Tokyo Terrace stands for. Classic food preparations (roasted beets) with international flair (cilantro, parmesan, pecans) made simply. The recipe also shows that you don’t have to live in another country to create something unique and exotic to put on the table. All it takes is a little creativity!
The flavors and textures in this salad are beautiful. Because the beets are roasted and served cold, this is a great dish for a dinner party. The beets can easily be roasted ahead of time (just make sure that if you use different colored beets that you store them separately so they don’t bleed on each other.) When beets are roasted, they become sweet and candy-like. I love the flavor and their velvety texture. Beets are so underrated!
The addition of crunchy pecans, salty parmesan cheese shavings, and bright cilantro are perfect atop sliced beets. Cilantro may sound a bit strange, but the flavor is pleasantly fresh combined with the rich, roasted beets. Not to mention the bright green is a beautiful contrast to the deep red and cheery golden color of the beets.
What are some of your favorite twists on classic recipes? I’m always looking for great new ideas!
Summer Roasted Beet Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish
For the roasted beets:
1 1/2 pounds beets (combination of red, golden, or candy cane)
3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil
salt & black pepper
For the salad:
1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/4 cup shaved parmesan (use a vegetable peeler to create shavings)
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
olive oil for drizzling
salt & black pepper
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the greens off of the beets and trim the skinny root ends. Clean the beets thoroughly under cold water until the dirt is completely removed. Dry the beets with a paper towel. *Leave the skin on the beets! It is really simple to remove after they are roasted.
Line a baking dish with tin foil and fill with 1/3 cup water. Place the beets in the pan, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the beets in the oven for 45 minutes or until tender when a knife is inserted in the center. The time may vary depending on the size of the beets. Smaller beets may only need about 30 minutes to roast. Remove the beets and allow to cool until they are easy to handle.
To peel the beets, take a dry paper towel and gently rub the outside of the beets until the skin is completely removed. Cut the beets in 1/4 inch thick slices and arrange on a serving platter. (If you plan to serve at a later time, store in the refrigerator in separate containers if using different colored beets. Store up to 2 days).
After arranging the beets, top with the pecans, cilantro and cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.