Kate Johnson: Making the most of those harvested beets (recipe)
Our garden was great this year! I am still pulling out beets from the early season and they are still tasting great. Likewise, I have six of the largest butternut squash I have ever grown almost ready for harvest (I am certain this is due to the long stretch of 90-plus weather).
Today I am going to share a beet salad recipe that my husband, Mark, makes throughout the summer. It is easy and delicious and the dressing can be used on other salads, pasta, sandwiches, etc. Feel free to substitute your favorite nuts and cheeses or add meat. Change up the dressing to suit your tastes if you prefer a sweeter or more mustardy version. Enjoy!
Roasted Beet Salad with Walnuts, Goat Cheese & Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette
1 bunch medium beets (about 3)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
10 ounces spinach (or mixed greens of your choosing – we like a hardier green to stand up to the mustard dressing)
3 ounces gorgonzola/goat cheese or feta
1⁄2 cup walnuts/pecans/macadamias or roasted pinenuts coarsely chopped
1 tablespoons honey
1-1⁄2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-1⁄2 tablespoons minced shallots/green onions or purple onion
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wipe or scrub beets clean then trim stems down to one-inch (leave “tails” on). Place beets on a large piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil, then wrap foil around them to form a neat packet. Roast directly on a cookie sheet in the middle of the oven until tender, about 1 hour. Test for doneness by piercing the largest beet with a knife. If it enters easily, it’s done. Unwrap beets and let sit until cool enough to handle. Use your hands or a paring knife to peel and slice. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, onions, salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. (Alternatively, add all your ingredients to a jar, cover with lid, and shake vigorously to blend.) Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Place the greens in a large bowl, drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine (dress lightly). Add as much of the remaining vinaigrette as desired and toss again. Divide greens onto plates, then sprinkle with beets (laying on top keeps the color confined), nuts and cheese. Great with a fat slice of homemade sourdough wheat bread!
Kate Johnson is a long-time resident of Carson City. She is an avid gardener, musician, cook and lover of dogs.