4 red beets or 1 package of home frozen beets, thawed and sauted in butter slightly
2 tablespoons pancetta, cubed
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled Blue or Feta cheese or to taste
1 tablespoon Italian Parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
If using frozen beets just continue after roasting beets.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove beet greens from beets, wash, remove most of stem. Wrap each beet loosely in foil. Roast for about an hour, until beets are barely soft to touch. When cool enough, remove skin. Set aside, covered.
Meanwhile, toast hazelnuts until skins begin to separate, about 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, rub skins off and squeeze hazelnuts until they split.
Saute the pancetta cubes in a medium skillet over medium heat until they render a few spoonfuls of fat. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and share with hungry dinner guests. Drop beet greens into the skillet and saute for a few seconds, until they wilt. Drain on paper towels.
For dressing, combine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Drop in hazelnuts and any crumbled bits or dust from the nuts.
Just before serving, slice beets into wedges and toss gently with dressing and hazelnuts.
To assemble salad, arrange beets on plate, add nuts, Top with a few pieces of crumbled cheese and a generous pinch of chopped parsley.