Radish, Cucumber, Beet Salad

One of the best parts about becoming grown ups (that happened already, right?), is that we love more foods.

When I was younger, I gagged over asparagus, brussel sprouts or beets. Now, I adore all three. And whenever I gravitate toward beets in the grocery store, I imagine my 11-year old self casting me a scornful glare. If she were here, we would NOT be allowed to make this dish. Eye roll.

But grown up me loves beets, and really loves this salad -- in which they play a starring role. Supporting actors include radishes (it's their debut into our cooking repertoire) and cucumbers (type cast as the mild-mannered salad ingredient). We sought inspiration from this salad on Serious Eats.

Pretty as an appetizer or very light main course salad, you can serve this over lettuce as we did, or on its own.

1 bunch beets
1 English cucumber
1 bunch radishes
1/2 red onion
salt to taste
pepper to taste
3 tbsp olive oil (plus more for roasting beets)
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint (or more or less to taste)
1 head romaine lettuce

(balsamic vinaigrette)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cups olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Wash beets, and place them in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil. Add a little water to the pan to prevent beets from sticking. Roast in the oven at 350 until beets are easily pierced with a knife, about an hour. Let cool, then peel off the skins and slice into quarter-inch slices. Prepare cucumber salad by removing seeds from cucumber, then cutting the cucumber into very thin slices. Place cucumber in a bowl, then thinly slice radishes (you can use a peeler for this) and red onion, and add to the bowl. Add mint, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Make the balsamic vinaigrette by whisking together ingredients. Divide romaine among four plates, top with beets, then cucumber and radish salad. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over top, and serve.