Hi, Friends. Today I had a delightful brunch with my old friend Billy Dec at his restaurant, Sunda, and we ate pretty much the whole menu (if you are in Chicago – GO! It’s a fabulous Asian-fusion place — think poached eggs on braised pork belly on a crispy rice cake … uh huh….it’s good.) And we also drank a lot of Moet Ice Imperial, their new Champagne that you drink on the rocks (delightful!). So I thought I would eat a bowl of air for dinner. But then I got a little hungry. So I found some beets in the fridge from Harvest Moon, my CSA. And I had some walnuts. And some goat cheese. And some greens. Ta dah! One of my faves, roasted beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts. A perfect light dinner. Want to make it? Come on!
It’s easy. All you do is roast some beets (takes about 45 minutes), and then assemble it. And eat it!
Ingredients (serves 1, double or triple or whatever, as you wish)
2 medium-size (2-inch diameter or so) beets
A bunch of salad greens (I used a mix of red leaf lettuce and some mustard greens I got from Harvest Moon – they’re great in a salad)
About 1/8 C. of walnut halves/pieces
French vinaigrette (I keep a batch in my fridge at all times – it’s not only delish on salads, but also on steamed veg of all types, like green beans, broccoli, snow peas, etc.)
A few tablespoons of goat cheese (I used Chavrie, and I love it)
What You Do
1) Roast the beets! Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Then all you do is trim the tops off and trim the little root end. Rub them with a little bit of olive oil and wrap each beet in foil. Set them on a baking sheet and pop ’em in the oven for 45 minutes. Take them out and you can let ’em sit a bit while you have a glass of wine and gab on the phone with a friend.
2) Assemble! Dress your greens with vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is easy. For a big batch, mix 1 C. extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 C. Champagne vinegar, 1 Tbl. Dijon mustard, a fair amount of salt (at least 1 tsp), some fresh-ground pepper, and toss in a whole, peeled garlic clove. I make it in a jelly jar and shake it up. Taste it – if it needs more salt, oil or vinegar, adjust to your liking.
3) When the beets are cool enough to handle, unwrap the foil and just peel off the skins with your hands (you don’t even need a peeler). Handy tip: do it over the sink and do not have a white top on! Beet juice is a killer. Slice them onto your dressed greens.
4) Toast your walnuts in a non-stick pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, tossing them about with a wooden spoon – makes them crispy and brings out their nutty personality. Toss those onto the salad. Then throw on a few blobs of goat cheese (it’s a little messy – I just fling it on as best I can).
Enjoy! It’s easy, it’s summer, it’s light and I love it. Hope you do, too!