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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.

  • servings: 4

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Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Step 1

    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.

  2. Step 2

    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.

  3. Step 3

    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).

  4. Step 4

    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.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, June 2004

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