By Cat, April 2015 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
Beets are one of my favorite veggies, even when I was a kid and all the other kids hated them. I love their deep red-purple color, and their earthy sweetness. But when I learned they are very good for supporting detox in the liver, I loved them even more.
The combination of flavors in this recipe is absolutely amazing. So simple, and so delicious.
Beet Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese
This recipe is adapted from a Food Network recipe (2), reprinted in an article by Mercola (1); I’ve adapted this to serve 2 (original serves 4).
Beets are the star of this salad. They now come in a variety of colors, but I still prefer the deep red-purple color.
If starting with bunch beats, first cut off the stems about 1 1/2 – 2 inches above the beetroot – this helps to reduce the amount of bleeding of color (and vital nutrients) from the beet as it cooks. Reserve the greens for another use; I also reserve the stems which I chop and put in my morning smoothie.
Do not peel the beets before cooking (to reduce the amount of bleeding of color); instead, the outer layer will easily slip off after the beets are cooked.
You have a lot of choices for the greens. The original recipe uses arugula and escarole (a type of endive); but any sharp or bitter greens can be used, but I highly recommend making arugula part of the mix. You need just enough greens to cover 2 salad plates. (Photo, left, from Wikimedia Commons).
For the goat cheese, I use homemade goat cheese, made by a friend who keeps goats. I also like Amalthea Chèvre (a type of goat cheese) from the Amalthea Organic Dairy (3), a Montana business. Feta can be substituted for a stronger flavor.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 1 bunch medium beets, (about ¾ pound), tops trimmed
- Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ Tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup walnuts, shelled, and preferably presoaked overnight
- ½ bunch arugula, trimmed and torn
- ¼ medium head escarole, frisée, radicchio, or kale, torn; spinach, beet greens, chard or mustard greens can also be used (tear larger leaves as needed)
- 2 oz goat cheese, (preferably aged goat cheese) crumbled
- Small mixing bowl (for soaking nuts)
- Baking sheet (for toasting/roasting nuts)
- Saucepan, with lid
- 2 medium bowls (for tossing beets and greens)
- 2 salad plates for serving
- Presoak Walnuts: Start the presoak the night before if you plan to toast them; or at least 2 nights before if you plan to roast them in a low oven after soaking.
- Dressing: While beets are cooking (see next step), whisk the vinegar with salt and pepper to taste, in blender. In a slow, steady stream, pour in the olive oil while the blender is running, to make a dressing. Set aside.
- Beets: Put trimmed beets in a saucepan with water to cover and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a bit.
- When they are cool enough to handle, remove the loose outer layer, which should easily slide of. If needed, use a paring knife to scrape off any bits that stick.
- Cut each beet into bite-sized wedges, and place in a bowl.
- Pour ⅔ of the dressing over beet wedges and toss to coat; set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. Reserve remaining ⅓ of the dressing to toss with the greens before serving.
- Greens: Wash and trim the greens, If the leaves are large (as for kale), cut or tear them into smaller pieces.
- Toast walnuts: (Optional; the other option is to roast them overnight in a low oven). Preheat the oven to 300° – 350°F. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and oven-toast, stirring once, until golden brown, about 15 minutes (300°F oven) or 8 minutes (350°F oven). Cool.
- Assembly: Do this right before serving. Toss greens with reserved dressing and arrange on the salad plates.
- Arrange marinated beet wedges on top, and scatter walnuts and goat cheese over all.
- Mercola article: articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/04/26/beet-salad-recipe.aspx
- Food Network: Beet Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese recipe, Copyright 2005 by Television Food Network, G.P. (foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/beet-salad-with-walnuts-and-goat-cheese-recipe.html)
- Amalthea Organic Dairy: amaltheiadairy.com