This time of year.

August 26, 2008
August in a salad.

August in a salad.

This early morning something strange happened. Half asleep and on my way to the bathroom, I opened the door of our bedroom (the only room in the house with an air conditioner), stepped out into the living room, and found that it was COOLER out there. Somehow, in the night, our stuffy little apartment had found itself a cross-breeze. And I realized… late summer is here.

Late summer is a golden time for eating. All of the warm-weather bounty is still with us… tomatoes and peaches are better than ever, lettuce is heartier and herbs are plentiful… but now I’m adding in the winter favorites that I’ve been ignoring in favor of fruits and veggies that are only around during the warmer months. I find my self wanting comfort food, but it’s not yet cool enough for stews and mashed potatoes. It’s still August, after all.

For this time, the roasted beet salad is perfect. I think just about every restaurant in New York offers one, and there’s a reason for that. Here I have created my own… with a few twists.

First off, the beets are more “toasted” than “roasted.” I slice them thin using the peeler I got from the peeler man in Union Square. It would be easier with a mandolin, but who has the space? I toast them dry and salted, until they are crispy around the edges. They turn into little leaves, and they are sooo pretty.

Also, I clip a fair amount of herbs into the salad. I like refreshing herbs for this, like lemon thyme, dill, and tarragon.

Last, the traditional roasted beet salad (at least as it’s done in New York) is made with goat chevre. I’m not arguing with this, goat chevre is amazing with beets… but I happen to make my own ricotta, so I use that. It doesn’t really taste better than chevre, but the homemade freshness is welcome… and satisfying.

Oh, and I’m not a big balsamic dressing fan… so I just drizzle the salad with “the good olive oil,” a squeeze of lemon, and a generous amount of black pepper.

It’s delicious, and just perfect for late August.



Toasted Beet Salad
Serves two

4 cups of lettuce, or other tasty raw greens
2 smallish beets
1 Tbsp each of Lemon Thyme, Dill, and Tarragon
4 Tbsp whole milk ricotta
4 tsp olive oil, plus a tiny bit to grease a toasting pan
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper galore

Peel the beets and remove tops and bottoms. Using the peeling, slice the beets extremely thin- like potato chips. Use a paper towel dipped in olive oil to lightly grease a toaster oven pan. Spread the beets out on the pan and sprinkle with a nice coarse salt. Toast until mostly crispy (about 10 minutes). Keep an eye on the beets as they burn the second after they’re perfect.

Mix the herbs with the olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle on the cheese. I find it easiest to toss the greens with the dressing at this point, beets are added. Top with toasted beets and a freshly cracked pepper to taste.

Points Analysis

Total: 4!



  1. Yum! I have had this and it is great! Erynn, come home and cook for me!

  2. What a great concept for a food blog!

    I’ve never done Weight Watchers but the points system always seemed to make a lot of sense to me.

    And that salad looks delish.

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