The farmers' markets around here are in full swing, and I've been going crazy with purchases. Since a beautiful bunch of beets was only $1.00, I just had to get them, even though I had no idea what to do with them. The only way we ever had beets when I was growing up was as the predominant ingredient in vegetable soup. Apparently that stemmed from the time my great grandparents spend in the Ukraine, on the border with Moldova. The first time I tasted borscht, I immediately thought of my family's vegetable soup. It took me a long time to appreciate the flavor of the beet in that soup, but I finally grew to like it. However, the only other experience I had with beets was as garnishes on Greek salads, so I really didn't know how to use them.
Of course I went to the interwebs to see what I could find. A recipe for beet salad on epicurious looked promising and very attractive, so I adapted it to the ingredients I had on hand. I roasted the beets, then cooled and cubed them. They were topped with herbed goat cheese, mandarin oranges, and some fresh from the garden salad greens (the epicurious recipe used golden beets instead of the oranges, and called for baby mache, which I could not find here). I made a vinaigrette with toasted walnut oil I recently scored on sale, and sprinkled walnut pieces around to complement the vinaigrette. (The epicurious recipe called for pistachios and pistachio oil, and if I ever find some of that I'm buying it!)
The vinaigrette really brought the elements together, and it was great. I'm still not a fan of beets other than in vegetable soup, though. Count me among the unconverted when it comes to this really pretty vegetable.