When I was a kid, I HATED beets. HATED THEM! Once in a while, my family would go to a little restaurant called The North Highway Cafe in Idaho Falls. We loved their prime rib dips (like a french dip but made with prime rib). They also had wonderful ranch dressing. They served a slice of pickled beet atop every salad. My brother and I would immediately pass the plate to my Dad so he could eat the pickled beets.
To this day, I still can’t eat a pickled beet with a straight face. They’re too earthy. What I mean by that is they taste like dirt. Then a wonderful thing happened a few years ago. I went out to dinner at a swanky restaurant in Idaho Falls called The Collage and they served a roasted beet salad with goat cheese. You know what? Roasted beets are good! Roasting makes them sweet and takes away the ‘dirt’ taste. Now I actually LIKE beets. Who knew?
We got a couple of gorgeous looking beets in our last Bountiful Basket. I couldn’t wait to make my own version of the salad I fell in love with. Here is my version, with a tangy citrus vinaigrette and toasted pecans. This recipe serves 2, but is easily doubled. You should have enough vinaigrette for at least 8 servings. Hope you enjoy!
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 red or yellow beet (about the size of a tennis ball)
- 2-3 cups romaine, washed, dried and torn
- 2 oz. chevre goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 c. chopped pecans
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange or tangerine juice
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tsp warm honey
- 1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper (or to taste)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ROAST THE BEETS: Line a pan with aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash the beets well, trimming off the root and tops (save the greens if they look good– recipe pending). Bake on the lined pan for about an hour, or until beets can easily be pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel and chop into matchsticks. I would suggest wearing gloves as the red pigment will STAIN EVERYTHING. This can be done a couple days in advance. Just store the beet sticks in a ziptop bag in the fridge.
- TOAST THE PECANS: no pan needed. Place the nuts on a microwave safe plate and microwave, turning every 10 seconds, until slightly browned and fragrant. This should take 45 seconds and can be done a few days ahead as well. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature.
- MAKE THE DRESSING: Just put everything in a jar and shake to combine. This dressing will keep up to a week in the fridge. Just let it stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes and re-shake before dressing a salad. Yes, this can be done ahead, too!
- COMPILE AND PLATE THE SALAD: Place the greens in a medium sized bowl and add a Tbsp or two of dressing. Toss to coat. Divide evenly between two plates. Top each with half the beets, half the pecans, and half the goat cheese. Serve immediately.