Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier? If so, then this is the recipe for you. This beet salad has it all. It is light and healthy. It brings a hefty dose of color to the otherwise gray winter landscape (can you tell we haven’t seen the sun in days?). Most importantly, this salad is delicious. Even my 3 year old eats it with gusto.
Don’t like beets you say? I am willing to bet that’s because you have only eaten those nasty canned ones. You know the ones I mean, they are smushy and smelly and taste vaguely of tin. Of course you don’t like those… you have better taste than that.
Fresh beets, however, are a revelation, especially when they are roasted. They get soft and sweet and stain everything they touch that beautiful rich purple color. So, pick up some beets from a local farm and try this recipe. Then, if you tell me that you still don’t like beets, I guess I can respect that.
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
Adapted from the Produce Bible
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
5 small to medium sized beets (1 lb 2.25 oz/516g), feel free to use classic purple beets or any of the cool heirloom varieties that are often available these days. This salad is especially pretty when you mix purple and gold beets.
~2.5 oz/68 grams crumbled goat cheese
Make the dressing first so the flavors can marry. In a container with a tight fitting lid (good Tupperware or canning jars work well), combine the red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, capers, and smashed garlic clove. Add salt and pepper to taste. Shake until all the ingredients are integrated. Set aside at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Scrub the beets well, trimming off the tops and the long tap root. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast beets in the oven until they are tender when pierced with a knife, about an hour.
Remove the beets from oven and unwrap. Cut each beet in half and let sit until cool enough to handle. Using a clean tea towel or a paper towel, rub the skins off of the beets. Chop the beets into 1/2 inch pieces and place in your serving bowl.
Remove and discard the crushed garlic from the dressing. Toss the warm beets with the dressing. Refrigerate the beets until chilled, at least 30 minutes. Once cool, fold in the crumbled goat cheese.
Serve either chilled or at room temperature. If you are in a hurry or don’t have time to chill the beets, you can eat the salad warm. The goat cheese will melt into the beets, turning the whole thing a light pink color. It doesn’t look as pretty but it still tastes darn good. Serves 4 as a side dish.