Instructions: Trim the leafy tops from the beets, leaving about 1/2 inch attached; reserve the tops. Leave the root ends intact. Scrub the beets under cold water. Lightly spray or brush with olive oil.
Grill over Indirect Medium heat until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on size, turning once halfway through grilling time. Remove from the grill and allow to stand until cool enough to handle.
Trim the ends from the beets and discard. Rub off the skins. Cut the beets into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices and place the red beets and the golden beets in separate bowls (to keep the red beets from dying the golden beets red).
To make the Dressing: Wash the dry the orange. With a zester, scrape off 1 tablespoon of zest. Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to remove enough strips of zest to total 1 tablespoon when finely chopped. Reserve the zest.
Cut the remaining skin and white pith from the orange and, working over a separate medium bowl, separate the orange into sections, letting the sections and any juice fall into the bowl. Add the reserved zest and the remaining dressing ingredients to the orange sections, including pepper to taste. Gently stir to combine.
Lightly brush the onion slices with some of the dressing and grill over Direct Medium heat until tender, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Remove from the grill and allow to cool slightly, then separate into rings.
Rinse the reserved leafy tops of the beets under cold water. Select the smallest, most tender leaves and place with the romaine lettuce in a large bowl. Add half of the dressing and toss.
Divide the lettuce mixture among four salad plates. Top with the beets and the onion rings and drizzle on the remaining dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
Wine Recommendation: Try a Cava, the dry, methode champenoise sparkler from Spain. Light- to medium-bodied, it will pick up all the attractive flavors and textures of the salad and add a refreshing acidity.
Beer Recommendation: Biere de garde from Flanders (France/Belgium) creates a tasty backgrounder for the sweetness of the warm beets and a palate cleanser for the char of the onions.
Comments: The grill intensifies the sweetness and flavor of beets for a result you just cant get from a can. If the beet tops are tender and unblemished, use them as part of the greens in the salad. Otherwise, use three romaine hearts. If you cant find golden beets, all red beets will do. Great served as a light lunch or a first course to a special dinner.
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