Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Roasted beet and goat cheese salad with orange vinaigrette

I roasted beets for the first time last summer and the results were a revelation. Sweet, tender, and nothing like the over-vinegared jarred ones I remember from childhood. They pair incredibly well with tangy goat cheese, so tonight I made a salad with those two ingredients as the base.

I added some spring greens, chopped walnuts for crunch, and a homemade orange vinaigrette (homemade salad dressings are so much better than bottled and they're a snap to whip up). I'm not one for making a meal of a salad, but if the ingredients are interesting enough, and filling enough, it can be pretty satisfying. This one filled me up nicely.

Roasted beet and goat cheese salad with orange vinaigrette

4 medium sized beets, roasted*, peeled and chopped
1 navel orange
bagged spring greens (or buy in bulk, enough for about 2 cups worth per serving)
1 small log of goat cheese
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

*Roasting beets: wrap cleaned beets in foil, then place on a baking sheet. Roast in 375F oven for about an hour. Beets are done when you can easily pierce them with a knife. Wearing rubber gloves, peel skins off beets and slice.

Make vinaigrette by first zesting the orange and putting zest in a Mason jar. Then halve the orange and using a citrus reamer, squeeze the juice into the jar. Then spoon in the mustard, followed by the olive oil. Add some salt and ground black pepper. Pop the lid on the jar and shake until emulsified. Add more salt and/or pepper if needed.

Clean the salad greens and place in a big bowl for mixing. Add the sliced beets and walnuts to the greens, and mix in the vinaigrette. Use tongs to ensure the dressing is uniformly distributed. You may not need all of the dressing, you don't want the ingredients to be dripping with it. Place in serving bowls and top with chunks of goat cheese.

Serves 4.



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