Chef Craig Von Foerster of Sierra Mar Restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, CA, shares this interesting technique for cooking beets that infuses them with flavor.
If you can find red, gold and Chioggia beets, the assortment makes a beautiful salad with jewel-like colors. Chioggia beets are also called "candy cane beets"; cut them open and you'll see their lovely concentric red and white circles.
The tarragon vinaigrette marries nicely with the earthy taste of the beets and makes a delicious dressing for any green salad, beets or no.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Combine the champagne vinegar, shallots, salt, oil, pepper and tarragon in a glass jar and shake vigorously to blend. Set aside at room temperature to allow the flavors to marry.
Place each color of beet in a separate small baking dish. Divide the thyme, onion, white wine vinegar and oil between each pan. Toss to coat, then season with salt and pepper. Cover the pans with a layer of plastic wrap, then top with a layer of foil. Roast for 35 minutes. When cool, peel the beets and cut them into quarters.
Place the lettuce in a large bowl and toss with some of the dressing. Divide the greens between 6 chilled plates. Add an assortment of beets to each plate and drizzle with more of the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.