Thursday, January 17, 2013

Roasted Beet Salad

I happen to love roasted beets and when combined with a salad with a flavorful honey mustard vinaigrette and topped with goat cheese...what could be better?  The addition of candied walnuts is the perfect crunchy bite to put it over the edge.  We have had this salad a few times in the past month and I devour every bite.  It is the perfect winter salad.

Roasted Beet Salad
Makes 4-6 servings

For the beets:
1 bunch medium beets (about 3)
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Salad:
10 ounces mixed greens (I like a blend of arugula and mixed baby greens)
3 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup candied walnuts, coarsely chopped

For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil

For the beets:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Wipe or scrub beets clean, then trim stems down to one-inch (leave "tails" on).  Place beets on a large piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil, the wrap foil around them to form a neat packet.  Roast directly on rack in middle of oven until tender, about 1 hour.  Test for doneness by piercing the largest beet with a knife.  If it enters easily, it's done.  Unwrap beets and let sit until cool enough to handle.  Use your hands (I like to use rubber gloves) or a paring knife to peel skin, then cut into wedges.  I usually do this right on the aluminum foil but you can also use a stain-proof cutting board or plate.  While the beets are roasting, make vinaigrette.  Add half of dressing to warm beets and set aside.

For the vinaigrette:
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, shallots, , salt and pepper.  Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream.  (Alternatively, add all your ingredients to a jar, cover with lid, and shake vigorously to blend.)  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

For the salad:
Place the greens in a large bowl, drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and toss to combine.  Add as much of the remaining vinaigrette as desired and toss again.  Divide greens onto plates, then sprinkle with beets, walnuts and goat cheese  (The reason you don't just mix it all together in a salad bowl is that the beets would cause the whole salad to turn pink.)  Serve immediately.

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