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Posts Tagged ‘Pecans’

I spent a fair amount of time this season talking food with friends old and new.  Along with discussing recipes and how to prepare food, we talk about what we like, and what we don’t.  Inevitably, I bring up beets– one of my favorites.  I’ve been a bit surprised to find that people either love beets or hate them.  There seems to be no middle ground.  But I have a theory here– that people only think they despise this lovely vegetable.  If you fall on the side of those who don’t appreciate these deep-crimson beauties, I have a question.  Have you ever eaten a fresh beet?  Because like all foods, an opinion based on a grocery store canned good doesn’t count.  If your experience is based on those sad, flavorless little cubes poured into a bowl, you have to give this recipe a try.  It’ll change your mind.  And if you already love beets, add this fantastic dish to your salad repetoir.

Obviously I love fresh beets.  Every time I cut into one, revealing its brilliant, deep red, I smile.  This color happens naturally!  Amazing.  Fresh beets are slightly sweet, with delicious earthy undertones.  They have a lovely crunch when eaten raw and a tender silkiness when cooked.  My favorite way to eat beets is roasted and unpeeled, baked in the oven, and then tossed with a bit of olive oil.  Of course, they shine in soups as well.  Here, I’ve used them as the centerpiece for this fantastic salad.  How’s that for versatility?

This beet salad is so simple, yet it will blow your mind.  The dark and viscous spicy sweet balsamic dressing is a standout made specifically to pair with the beets.  It’s one of the most unique dressings you’ll ever taste– very intense, explosive flavors.  The creamy cheese provides balance to the acidity of the dressing, and adds that additional layer of complexity that I think most salads need.  And the crunch from the toasted nuts is a nice textural addition.  It’s fantastic served with greens, or as a stand alone.  Enjoy!

The Recipe: Roasted Beet Salad

6 medium beets, roots and tops trimmed

Olive oil to coat

1/2 cup walnuts (or pecans), toasted

1/2 cup good quality goat or blue cheese, crumbled  ( I’ve had it with both cheeses, go for the blue)

Handful of leafy greens

Dressing:

1 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced to 1/3 cup

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Toss beets in olive oil to coat.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place beets on baking sheet and roast until tender, about 35-45 minutes.  Let cool.

Combine ingredients for dressing together.  Set aside.  Toast nuts by placing in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently.  When nuts become fragrant, remove from heat, about 4-5 minutes.

When beets are cool, peel and cut into wedges.  Place on top of a bed of greens.  Sprinkle with cheese and toasted nuts.  Drizzle the dressing over the top.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Nosh Restaurant via The Minnesota Homegrown Cookbook

Thanks for stopping by today!  Have a great weekend.

Laurie

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