A wonderful , refreshing, colorful and light salad, this Cherry tomato and beet salad takes advantage of summer’s fresh produce and makes a great accompaniment to any al fresco dinner.
Intensely colored , sweet flavored, and healthy , beets are proliferating in variety, red, gold,orange, variegated pink and many different sizes. Feel free to make this salad using any color or size of beet, just estimate the amount. I would give the same advice for the tomatoes. Use grape tomatoes, yellow tear drops, multi colored baby heriloooms, or cut up large tomatoes if you can’t find cherries.
Persian cucumbers are those fresh thin small green cucumbers the size of a pickle. If you can’t find Persian cucumbers, use Japanese cucumbers, pickling cucumbers or English hot house variety.
For the salad:
4 medium red beets
1 pint cherry tomatoes or approximately 2 cups
8 large fresh basil leaves
3 Persian cucumbers
6 radishes or more
4 cups wild arugula, rocket or rucola
1 cup radicchio, washed and shredded
3 tablsspoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Wash beets and cut off stems. Place beets in boiling water. Boil until you can insert a knife easily in the center of a cooked beet, about 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t let them get mushy. Peel beets after they cool and cut them into 1/2 inch dice. Wash and dry tomatoes, match them to the size of diced beets. Cherry, grape or teardrops may be sliced in half.
Wash and dry cucumbers, cut off stem ends and then dice or cut them on the diagonal in long ovals as in the picture. Wash and dry radishes. Radishes also come in many different shapes , sizes and colors. Slice them in thin half rounds. Wash and dry basil leaves, roll them together lengthwise like a cigar and slice thin ribbons or chiffonade.
On a serving platter mound up the wild arugula. Toss the beets, tomatoes, and radishes together with the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Next, place beet mixture on top of arugula bed and decorate with cucumbers. Finally scatter basil ribbons over the top and serve. This salad is also good topped with a little cheese, such as, buffalo mozzarella, buratta, ricotta or goat cheese.
This salad is very refreshing and goes with anything grilled, beef, chicken, lamb, or fish.