Golden Beet Salad with Candied Marcona Almonds

  1. 2 1/2 pounds medium size golden beets, scrubbed and trimmed
  2. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  6. Salt
  7. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  8. 1 cup marcona almonds
  9. 1/2 cup fresh juice from 1-2 Minneola Tangelos, a juicy cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit
  10. 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  11. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  12. 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  13. 1 small head of frisée (4 ounces), torn into bite-size pieces
  14. 1 small block pecorino cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large baking dish, toss the beets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly butter the paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the 1 tablespoon of butter with the sugar, corn syrup, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Bring this to a boil, stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Add the almonds and stir until evenly coated with the syrup. Scrape the almonds onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer. Bake about 12 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Let the nuts cool for about 25 minutes, then break into small clusters.

In a small saucepan, simmer the Minneola juice over moderate heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard and shallots. Gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and season the dressing with salt. Add the beets and frisée and toss.

Garnish with the candied almonds, shave the pecorino on top and serve.

The roasted beets can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature.

The candied almonds can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.