Salad of Roasted Beets and Arugula with Blue Cheese Dressing

3 bunches baby beets, washed, trimmed, and halved
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 handful fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 bunches arugula, washed, dried, and hand-torn
Celery leaves from 1 bunch celery, about 1/2 cup
1 cup walnut halves and pieces, toasted
½ pound blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 lemon, juiced

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Lay the beets on a large sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with the oil, toss the thyme on top, and season with salt and pepper. Fold up the foil tightly to make a sealed pouch and put it on a sheet pan. Bake until the beets are tender when pierced, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Drop a knife in the center of 1 beet; if it slides out without resistance, they're done.) Let the beets cool to room temperature and put them in a large mixing bowl. Add the arugula, celery leaves, and walnuts; toss to combine.

3. To make the blue cheese dressing: Put the blue cheese and sour cream in a bowl, mashing with a fork to combine. Add the chives, lemon juice, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper; mix to incorporate, leaving a few chunks of cheese in the dressing. Thin out the dressing with a tablespoon of water, if you wish, to smooth out the consistency.

Pour the blue cheese dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat; season with salt and pepper. Put the salad on a chilled platter and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence and Food Network

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