Roasted Beet and Mandarin Salad

From Chow Bella

4 medium beets (about 1.25-1.5 lbs), scrubbed clean and greens removed

a little water

9 seedless mandarin oranges (aka: "Cuties" or "Halos")

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp pure maple syrup (optional)

 salt and pepper

4 tbsp olive oil

1 medium red onion, cut into slivers

1 cup chopped pecans

1. Roast the beets. There are lots of methods, and I used this one. I added a little water to the foil to keep the beets from scorching and to build up some steam. They took about 1.25 hrs (a good time for prepping other food for the week!). You could also steam them. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut them into chunks.

2. Meanwhile, juice one of the mandarins. Blend in the mustard, syrup, and some salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil. As an optional step, soak the onion slivers in cold water to remove some of their heat. Peel and section all the mandarins.

3. In a large bowl, toss the beets, mandarin wedges, drained onions, pecans, and dressing. Toss well and chill at least 1 hour before serving.