Salads are great, no denying. Not much can beat a salad of fresh vegetables–except perhaps a salad composed of fresh and roasted vegetables. You get the best of both worlds. The deep, caramelized flavor of the beets (or any other roots you have on hand) anchor the slightly bitter, cooling greens.

1 lb or so beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1/4 c balsamic or other red wine vinegar
1 1/2 t honey or agave
1 1/2 t prepared mustard
2/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 t lemon zest, optional
salt and pepper, to taste (remember that feta is often salty)
8 c or so chopped mizuna or other greens, or a combination
1 1/2 c crumbled feta cheese; or goat cheese, or blue cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Wrap beets individually, if large, or several at a time, in foil. Place on a baking sheet. Or, put beets into a covered casserole and add some water to cover the bottom of the dish. Bake until tender, the timing will depend on the size of the beets. When done, remove from oven, cool, then peel if you like and cut into wedges. For other roots, peel if needed, chop or slice, drizzle with some oil, and roast until tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, honey, mustard, olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a small bowl or jar. Set aside.

3. When ready to assemble salad, put mizuna into a salad bowl. Add beets, gently tossing. Add dressing, enough to coat the vegetables. Toss again. Taste for seasonings. Sprinkle with feta cheese.