The Italian Centre had bags of small beets, about 2 kg, for two dollars last week so I grabbed one bag and roasted them as soon as I got home. As I removed the skins, I wondered what I should do with them and popped one into my mouth. It had intense, earthy-sweet flavour. Inspired by a salad on Epicurious, I stacked caramelized onions and shaved beets on goat cheese with a vinaigrette. The salad photographed beautifully, but the beets overshadowed the other ingredients so much I decided to simplify things a bit and just toss the shaved beets in the vinaigrette.
I used the juice from the pickled onion recipe as a base for the vinaigrette. Any juice from sweet-tart pickles should work - just taste as you go. If you don't have pickle juice, use a mild or flavoured vinegar that is a bit sweet - a raspberry vinegar would be fantastic.
Shave 6-8 small roasted peeled beets with a mandolin, or slice very thinly with a knife. For vinaigrette, mix 3 tbs pickle juice with 1 tsp Dijon mustard and add salt and sugar, if desired, to taste. When you have the flavour balance you want, whisk in 2 tbs oil. Toss beets carefully with vinaigrette - they will soak it up immediately, because they are so thin - and serve.