I know this isn’t any kind of revolutionary recipe (I mean, really, I’m not a recipe revolutionary…I just like food that tastes good and often incorporates mustard) and I actually stole the idea of this salad from a restaurant where I worked years ago. I’ve seen very similar salads at mainstream chain restaurants now. It also doesn’t have a lot of mustard in it, just a bit in the dressing. But it is DELICIOUS and you should try it.
I grew up on canned beets and I like them, but never had fresh roasted beets until I was an adult and they are so, so, so good…and super easy to make. I like to make four at a time, slice them up and pop them into the fridge in a storage container. They make a great cold snack or side with just a bit of salt and pepper. Here is a good basic recipe for roasting beets but the process is pretty flexible…if you’ve got something else in the oven at a slightly lower or higher temperature, just throw them in with it and adjust the time accordingly. This is really hard to mess up.
One note: Once the beets have cooled enough to handle, the easiest way to peel them is to just push the skin off with your fingers – BUT – I highly recommend doing so with latex or plastic gloves on. The deep reddish-purpley tint of beets will stain your hands and leave you looking like a murderer for a few days. That’s not a good plan as far as relationships, career, etc.
Once your beets are all roasted and sliced up, here’s a great way to use them!
Beet salad with goat cheese
Ingredients for salad:
- Salad greens of your choice (I prefer spinach but the restaurant that inspired this recipe used arugula)
- Roasted beets, sliced
- Walnuts (again, choose your favorite nut or, obviously, eliminate if there is an allergy issue)
- Goat cheese, crumbled (I like the creamy-and-saltiness of goat cheese but have used bleu cheese with good results, too)
Ingredients for dressing: This is not an exact recipe, I eyeball the measurements every time and add whatever fresh or dried herbs I have available and feel like adding each time. Play with it.
- Two parts oil of choice (I use olive or walnut usually)
- One part balsamic vinegar
- Juice of half of a lemon or the equivalent of bottled lemon juice
- 1-2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt, pepper, whatever herbs you like to taste
- Whisk all of the dressing ingredients except the oil together in a bowl. Add the oil in a slow stream while whisking.
- Toss the greens alone with the dressing until they are coated but not soggy…you can always add more dressing later if needed but you can’t take it away.
- Plate greens onto individual plates, then top with beets, nuts, and goat cheese. I’d add a good twist of fresh cracked black pepper.
That’s it! This is a nice side or starter salad as is, but you could make it an entree salad by adding whatever protein you like – chicken, cold leftover steak, garbanzo beans, whatever. This is one of my favorite salads, the sweetness of the beets and the saltiness of the goat cheese is just amazing. Let me know what you think, or if you have your own variation on a beet salad!