Roasted Beet Salad with Many Toppings

Warm, fruity, nutty salads. So many varieties to love. Here's what we composed this evening:

The warm: roasted beets
The fruity: chopped asian pears
The nutty: toasted walnuts
The savory: marinated onions
The salad: mixed greens

The most wonderful thing about this type of salad is that it really doesn't matter what you put in it, as long as you get the basic elements down. For example, a version with warm chicken, grapes and pecans would have been just as lovely. But we found local beets and our farmer's market this afternoon, and the rest fell into line. Some recipes online called for adding scallions, but marinated onions worked superbly as well. We loved it.

Ingredients (serves 4):
6 small beets
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cups walnuts
2 asian pears, chopped
mixed greens

2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 wine vinegar
1/3 balsamic vinegar
pinch of sugar

Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the beets in half, and place them in a roasting pan, dressed with about 2 tbsp of olive oil and dashes of salt and pepper. Roast them for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until soft. Meanwhile, make the dressing by mixing the olive oil and vinegars, sugar and some salt and pepper. Let the onions sit in the dressing. Toast the walnuts, and put them on the mixed greens with the pears and the cheese. When the beets are ready, wait until they are cool enough to handle, then peel them and slice them. Place them on the salad, add the onions, and dress it.