Chocolate and Balsamic Beets with Ricotta
For the beets:
1-2 pounds beets, washed and dried, ends trimmed
tomatoes, ripe, any size
cocoa powder in a powdered sugar shaker
good quality olive oil
Aleppo chili flake
toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
For the dark chocolate balsamic dressing:
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon raw sugar
heavy pinch kosher salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
a couple of freshly picked rosemary leaves
¾ ounce dark or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Roast the beets:
Preheat your oven to 400˚F. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil over a baking sheet. Place the beets on the aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Wrap the beets up tightly, forming a package. Roast until tender to a knife tip, about 40-50 minutes depending on the size of your beets.
Remove and let the beets cool enough to handle. Peel the beets by rubbing the skin with a lint-free kitchen towel or paper towels, it should come off easily. Cut the beets into chunks.
Make the chocolate balsamic sauce: Combine the balsamic vinegar, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla and rosemary leaves in a small pot. Heat until the sugar melts. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until melted and smooth.
To plate your salad, spoon some ricotta cheese down on your plate. Nestle some tomatoes down into the ricotta. Top with roasted beets. Spoon some of the balsamic sauce over the beets and garnish with pumpkin seeds and a pinch of Aleppo chili flake.