Test Kitchen: Davis Square Beets

by Mara Eyllon on October 29, 2010

Union Square Farmers Market, we miss you already, as you skulk weary-eyed into winter hibernation.

Being a glass half full kind of folk at Post Somerville, let us look to the sunny side—sleeping in on Saturday, and leisurely sipping lattes at Sherman or browsing the latest edition of High Five at Hub Comics.

Just make sure you swing by the Davis Square Market on Wednesday—they’ll be there from noon until 5 p.m. (6 p.m. prior to daylight savings) through Thanksgiving, perfect for students, stay at home parents or those who work non-traditional hours.

The Davis Square Farmers Market may seem smaller than its Union counterpart, but we promise you, there are some real gems to be found—although some of the vendors like Flats Mentor and Kimballs Fruit farm overlap at both markets, Davis Square has some specialties you can’t find yonder east, like the fishmonger (summer only) who serves up delightful, albeit expensive, filets of house-smoked fish with an inviting generosity of spirit (and free samples).

Perhaps it was the contrast of the vibrant autumn harvest against the dull gray Wednesday skies, but I can’t help but to notice that the produce seems a little greener and a little fresher in Davis. Take advantage of the bountiful fall harvest that remains in the form of dinosaur kale, arugula, shallots, turnips, potatoes, beets and apples so aromatic that the sweet scent lingers in the crisp Day Street air.

I had never considered roasting beets and shallots together, but when I catch a glimpse or whiff of an impressive vegetal specimen, all culinary prowess is reduced to instinct—My senses lead me to dinner, most often resulting in the merging of  traditional and exotic or new spins on a timeless favorites like this beet salad.

This beet salad is a chameleon of sorts—it can be served warm with wilted greens, or chilled and served atop a bed of fresh arugula—selflessly accommodating to the ever-changing weather, while maintaining integrity of flavor and texture.

The roasted beets are toothsome morsels, tender and yielding, their sweetness brought forth by the oniony flavor of roasted shallots and subtle zing of white wine vinegar. Enjoy garnished with fresh Chevre as a light meal, appetizer or side dish.

Roasted Beet and Shallot Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette


6-8 Small beets

4 shallots

2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp White wine vinegar

1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

¼ tsp salt plus extra to taste


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Discard beet greens and trim away roots. Halve shallots (leaving outer skin) and wrap in foil with the beets. Roast for one hour or until beets and shallots are tender. Remove from oven and cool. Discard skin on shallots, run beets under cool water and delicately ply away peel. Quarter beets, toss with shallots.


Combine olive oil, vinegar, thyme and salt and emulsify. Toss with beets and serve atop greens, with Chevre.

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