Frutti di Mare – Fruit of the Sea

Roasted Beet Salad


  • 3 Large Beets, peeled, scrubbed with ends cut off
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 5 tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh, minced parsley
  • 8 scallions, sliced
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups mesclun (radicchio, watercress, spinach, arugula)
  • 6-8 tbsp sliced, fresh goat cheese

Cooking Directions

  1. Slice beets and arrange in a large glass baking dish. Coat with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. In a preheated 350˚ oven, roast the beets for 45 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven to cool. Then further slice the beets and set aside.
  2. While beets are cooking, whisk together the maple syrup, lemon juice, oil, parsley, scallions and salt in a medium bowl for the dressing and set aside.
  3. Once the beets have cooled, toss them with mesclun and dressing, top with the fresh goat cheese and serve. Note: For an added garnish add 1/4 cup of chopped pecans.

VBT Named Among World’s Best Tour Operators by Travel + Leisure Magazine for 2011

What a grand day it is for all of us here at VBT at our farmhouse headquarters in Vermont, as well as for our Trip Leaders and travel associates all over the world. For the second consecutive year, Travel + Leisure magazine has awarded VBT a place on its prestigious top 25 list of the World’s Best Tour Operators and Safari Outfitters.

What makes this recognition especially gratifying is that the votes that won us this tremendous recognition come from our travelers themselves. Who better to judge? Also significant to all of us who work at VBT is the fact that the award covers a wide range of features that are vitally important to travelers: staff and guides, itineraries and destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and value. Out of a highest possible score of 100, VBT scored 92.45, placing it 13th on the list of the World’s Best.

This award is one of the most prestigious in our industry. I’m pleased and humbled by this extraordinary recognition two years in a row. It’s especially remarkable when you consider that there are hundreds of tour operators in the world who qualify for this award. Thank you, Travel + Leisure, for this acknowledgement of our efforts to make travelers’ dreams come true here in the United States and around the world. And a very special thanks to our travelers!

We’re celebrating here in a way that works well whenever good news passes through the door—whether it’s the arrival of a new child or grandchild, or the long-awaited first day of spring (good-bye, winter!): a bottomless pot of fresh coffee and a couple of boxes of delicious pastry and doughnuts from the Bristol Bakery & Café, on Main Street. What a treat! Of course, we’ll all hit the trail on our bikes later to work off those extra calories….

I can’t send all of our travelers a fresh blueberry muffin—the blueberries have come in especially plump and flavorful this season in Vermont—but I can express our profound appreciation for your support over the years. And what great support it is: 98% of VBT travelers tell us that they would refer VBT to family or friends. That’s a wonderful testimony to both the close relationship travelers feel with VBT’s Trip Leaders and to the overwhelming number of travelers who return to VBT again and again as their tour operator of choice.

We won’t rest on our laurels. Once the last cherry Danish and cinnamon twist are gone, we’ll be back at our desks. All of us at VBT—here in Vermont and around the world—are absolutely committed to helping our travelers make new discoveries each day: being surrounded by beautiful vistas, making warm encounters with local people, and savoring delicious food, wine, and regional delights. We’re proud that we can provide unsurpassed value and that our work leads to such excellent customer satisfaction.

Thanks again for your affection and support!

Gregg Marston