Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Orange Dressing

This salad is another example of flavors that get along like they've known each other since kindergarten. Roasted beets, sweet orange juice, goat cheese, and walnuts are far from a motley crew. Their flavors and textures complement each other beautifully. It's simply logical.

I don't have much more to say, other than this is one of those "fancy" salads that would go very well as a first course (in smaller portions) before some equally fancy entree. And the effort is minimal.

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Orange Dressing
serves 3


3 medium-sized beets, root and stem ends trimmed
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups (loosely packed) chopped red leaf lettuce
1 ounce fresh goat cheese, crumbled
handful walnut pieces, toasted


1. Preheat toaster oven (or oven) to 400. Wrap beets in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Unwrap and let cool. When the beets are cool enough to handle, scrape off the skins with the blunt side of a knife. Cut into quarters (or smaller if using large beets). Place in a bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, juice, vinegar, oil, and salt. Pour about half of it over the beets and toss to coat.

3. Assemble the salad: divide the lettuce among three plates, topped with a third each of the beets. Top with goat cheese crumbles and walnut pieces. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve.


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