Beet and Cucumber Relish with Grilled Asparagus
Diced roasted beets (and crisp cucumber) are like colorful confetti on top of grilled asparagus. Roasting is a great way to cook beets; it concentrates juices, intensifies flavor, and yields tender roots.
- 2 medium red beets (about 1/2 pound without greens), tails and about 1 inch of stems left intact
- 1 cup diced (1/4-inch pieces) peeled English cucumber
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and peeled
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each beet in foil. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, trim beets and rub off skins with paper towels, or peel beets with a paring knife.
Cut beets into 1/4-inch dice, and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in cucumber, shallot, vinegar, 1 teaspoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 hours.
Preheat a grill or grill pan until hot. Toss asparagus with remaining teaspoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Grill asparagus, turning once, until tender, 4 to 8 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on thickness of spears).
Arrange asparagus on a platter, and let cool completely. Finely chop basil, and stir into beet relish. Using a slotted spoon, spoon beet relish over asparagus.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, June 2004