Beets and Carmelized Onions
2 tablespoons white wine or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (preferably whole-grain or coarse-grain)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb onions (2 medium), quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
3 medium to large whole fresh beets or 2 cans of small whole beets
3 oz crumbled feta (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup pine nuts (1 oz), toasted and coarsely chopped
If using fresh beets, prepare the beets by trimming off the greens and stems and scrubbing with a vegetable brush. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for an hour, or until the beets are tender. Cool and peel. The outside peel should slip off easily. Slice into 1/4â€ or thinner slices. This step may be done a day ahead.
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, then add 3 tablespoons oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined well.
Cook onions with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes (if you really like the carmelized flavor, let them cook until they are well browned). Add onions to dressing, then add beets and cheese, stirring gently to combine. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts. Makes 4 first-course or side-dish servings.
This dish is a particularly good accompaniment to beef or lamb.