About 3 cups kosher salt, for baking
8 baby red beets, washed and trimmed but not peeled
8 baby yellow beets, washed and trimmed but not peeled
8 baby candy-striped beets, washed and trimmed but not peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches watercress, gently torn
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnut pieces
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1½ teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
2 (4-ounce) balls burrata cheese, quartered
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
To roast the beets: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread all but 1 tablespoon of the salt over the bottom of a shallow roasting pan or jelly roll pan.
In a large bowl, toss the red, yellow, and candy-striped beets with the reserved 1 tablespoon salt, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the pepper until coated.
Spread a large sheet of aluminum foil on a work surface and place the beets in the center. Fold the foil around the beets to make a neat package and then place the package on top of the salt. You might find it easier to make two packets rather than one. Roast the beets for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Let the beets cool in the foil; this will make them easier to peel.
When cool enough to handle, peel the beets (the skins should slip right off). Cut into halves, quarters, or slices so that they are all about the same size. Combine the beets, watercress, and 1/4 cup of the walnuts in a mixing bowl and toss to mix.
To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the walnut oil, vinegar, orange zest and juice, honey, shallot, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the beets and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange 2 pieces of burrata near the outside of each chilled plate and spoon the beets and watercress over and around the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts on top, finish with sea salt and a little olive oil, and serve.