Jason was helping me start this meal by prepping the beets and potatoes to roast. While he was doing his prep, I could literally see the uncertainty about this meal on his face. He was doubting the beets and potatoes combo. Not that I blame him; it does sound a bit funny! But, he trusted me, and you'll have to trust me as well - this combo is a knockout and all the other ingredients bring it together into a truly great salad.
2 romaine hearts (Depending on size, might need more or less. My romaine hearts were big.)
3 red potatoes, peeled
6 beets, trimmed and scrubbed
¼ red onion, sliced
½ cup bleu cheese crumbles (you could sub goat cheese or feta, if you prefer)
¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds
3 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. dried (or 2 tbs. fresh) rosemary
salt and pepper
4 tbs. each grapeseed oil and basalmic vinegar
Set oven to 425. Place scrubbed and trimmed beets onto a large square of foil, each. Wrap foil around beet, then place each foil-wrapped beet in oven to roast. Let roast around 50 minutes, until you can easily slide a butter knife into the flesh of the beets. While beets roast, prepare potatoes. Once peeled, cube potatoes, then toss with 1 tbs. salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and rosemary. Lay on foil-lined baking sheet, then slide into oven (with the beets). Potatoes need about 20 minutes to roast. You want them to be soft, and have lightly browned skin.
While the roasting is going on, wash and cut lettuce. Divide evenly amongst 4 bowls, then top with bleu cheese, sliced red onion, sunflower seeds, a pinch of salt, a couple grinds of pepper, and then drizzle grapeseed oil and basalmic vinegar over the salad (about 1 tbs. of each each, per salad).
Once beets and potatoes are done, remove from oven. Allow potatoes to cool slightly while you work with the beets. Unwrap each package, then cut beets in quarters to allow steam to escape. Once slightly cooled, peel skin from beets. (Remember, the beet juice can stain your hands, cutting boards, and clothing. Wear an apron and use a dish-washer safe cutting board. The beet juice will come off your hands with a little scrubbing - you can use lemon juice if it's really sticking - or you can wear plastic gloves for this step.) Once all skin is removed, slice beets thinly. Divide beets and potatoes amongst the salad bowls, then serve.
This salad is also great for lunch the next day! Package your lettuce, beets, red onion, bleu cheese, salt and pepper in one large container, then put the potatoes and sunflower seeds in another. Heat the potatoes right before adding them to the salad. Package dressing separately and combine everything when it is time to eat.