4 medium beets, scrubbed, tops trimmed, root tails left intact Coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon agave nectar Freshly ground white pepper
3 large bunches arugula, trimmed and roughly chopped (6 to 7 cups)
11 ⁄ 2 cups Candied Walnuts .
• Combine the beets, 3 quarts cold water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium pot over high heat. Boil uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the beets are easily pierced with a knife. Drain. Peel the beets by holding them under cold running water and rubbing their skins off with your fingers or a clean towel.
• Preheat oven to 400°F.
• Trim the tails off the bottom of the beets. Reserve two of them for the vinaigrette and compost the others. Cut the beets into 1⁄4-inch dice. In a medium bowl, toss the diced beets with 4 teaspoons of the olive oil. Transfer them to a parchmentlined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove the beets from the oven, transfer them back into the bowl just used, and toss with 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Return to the baking sheet and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Set them aside to cool.
• In a blender, combine the reserved roasted beet tails with the remaining red wine vinegar, mustard, agave nectar, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, and white pepper to taste. Blend while slowly pouring in 4 table spoons of olive oil. If needed, add more salt to taste.
• Place the arugula pieces in a large serving bowl, add the roasted beets on top, and add the candied walnuts on top of that. Immediately before serving, toss well with just enough of the vinaigrette to coat.