Roasted Beets -- with their jewel-like hues, tender texture and subtle sweetness are the stars of the vegetable kingdom, right? Love em because they can steal the show as a vegetarian heavy hitter . . . the perfect partner to my favorite cheese, burrata.
Have you tasted burrata? It's the meltiest, creamiest, dreamiest cousin to mozzarella I know.

Once you go burrata . . . 

1) you'll be broke -- it costs about 9 bucks a lump!
2) you'll never want ordinary mozzarella again
3) you'll be happy with no money because you'll be rich in creamy cheesiness!

I first sampled this cheese in Italy and I've never looked back, it's an easy way to win hearts and friends.

With a smattering of roasty beets and good conversation, it's the perfect springtime meal.

Beet Salad with Burrata & Pea Shoots
serves 6-8

Make ahead tip: Roast the beets up to a day in advance, peel and trim just before serving. It’s much easier to do it this way, as the beets have time to fully cool. Prep the pea shoots the day before by rinsing, drying and wrapping them in a slightly moistened tea towel in the fridge.

10 medium gold and red beets, washed, stemmed and trimmed (not peeled)
¼ cup olive oil
1 bunch pea shoots
½ head escarole, washed and trimmed
2 8-ounce Burrata cheeses, torn into about 8-10 pieces

for the dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons malt vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 shallot, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place groups of 2 beets on a sheet of tin foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and wrap loosely. Place tin foiled beets on a sheet pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until soft when poked with a knife. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of beets. When softened, remove from oven and allow to cool in tin foil packs.

Make the dressing by whisking the olive oil, malt vinegar, mustard, honey, shallot and salt and pepper together vigorously until emulsified.

When ready to serve, peel the beets with a paring knife. Cut into wedges. Toss beet wedges, escarole and pea shoots in a large bowl with dressing. Pour beet mixture onto a large platter (or 2 large plates), dotting bits of  torn burrata throughout vegetables. Finely chop a few of the escarole leaves and pea shoots, garnish salad with these. Top with freshly ground pepper and a little salt. Serve immediately. 

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