While I ate a good many beets growing up, I only had them one way. They were purple and they were pickled. The in that was some people pickled their beets as slices, while some did so as more rustic chopped beet. Like salt, pepper, ketchup and mustard pickles, pickled beets are a standard condiment (side dish) on most Newfoundland supper tables. They go with just about anything. In fact, the only way I would eat my vegetables as a young child (potatoes excluded) was to mix my carrot and turnip in with my potatoes, pour in some beet juice and mash it all together into a uniform purple blob. Yes it sounds disgusting, but it was good. I guess I had an aversion to eating orange and yellow vegetables, but purple was no problem. For this recipe there will be no need to utilize beet juice as a cover up, although a purple vinaigrette sounds intriguing. The beets in the recipe are simply roasted in the oven with a little oil and lightly seasoned with a touch of salt. The flavor of roasted beets is incredibly rich, earthy, slightly sweet and slightly tart. Paired with baby greens tossed in a bold vinaigrette with tangy goat cheese, toasted walnuts and some crusty baguette slices and you have a winner winner purple salad dinner! Here is what you'll need and how I put it all together.
Use a mason jar to shake up the ingredients and make an emulsification. To the jar add:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 heaping teaspoon of good mustard (I used Raye's horseradish maple mustard (http://www.rayesmustard.com/). If you use Dijon, I suggest adding a little prepared horseradish for some bold kick.
- Fresh cracked pepper and a pinch of kosher or sea salt.
Give it a good shake. Use some to "dress" the salad greens just before plating and more to drizzle onto the plated salad.
Ingredients (6 servings)
- Mix of baby greens, washed
- 2 bunches of beets (about 6),
- drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- fresh baguette, sliced on the bias and toasted
- small package (8 ounce) of goat cheese
- handful of whole walnuts, toasted lightly in a dry fry pan
- Bold Vinaigrette (above)
Start preparing your beets as these take a little while to cook. Trim off the ends, keep the small ones whole and half the large beets so all are about the same size. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the beets on the pan and drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove when knife tender (pierced through easily with a sharp knife). Once cooked, remove the skin (if desired) and slice for the salad. For the nuts, place them in a dry fry pan and toast them over medium heat and toast for 1-2 minutes to bring out the natural oils. Be careful not to burn them.
Arrange dressed greens on a salad plate and place sliced beets and toasted nut on the greens. Put a big dollop of goat cheese on one end of the toasted baguette slice and crumble a few more pieces on the greens. Top with another drizzle of the vinaigrette.
Chef's treat! I made some open face baguette, goat cheese and beet sandwiches to nibble on when I went back in the kitchen to serve up my second course of Roasted Squash and Apple Soup with caramelized shallots and Greek yogurt. I think these would make for a great party appetizer!