(adapted from Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook by Jamie Oliver)
This is a very simple, yet beautiful, winter salad.
4 good-sized beets, a mix of purple and gold, if possible
3 ripe pears
1/2 c. good extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. creamy white feta cheese
small bunch of mint leaves, roughly chopped
Scrub, peel and cut beets and pears into fine matchsticks by first thinly slicing them about 1/4 inch thick using a knife or mandoline and then stacking the slices on top of each other to cut into thin matchsticks. Place in a bowl.
Squeeze the juice from one lemon and add 1/2 c. good olive oil to an old jam jar. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Tighten lid and shake. Test dressing before adding to salad and adjust seasonings, if needed.
Add a little of the dressing to the beets and pears until the flavors are balanced. Mix well. Crumble over feta and sprinkle with mint.
Tip:Peel beets under running water and chop on a plastic board that can be easily rinsed for less staining. Rub coarse salt on your hands and board to remove any color.