Sunday, June 20, 2010

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Spicy Maple Pecans

Up until I made this salad, I had never tasted a beet.  They always seemed yucky, and  though I consider myself to be fairly adventurous in my tastes, I never had the desire to try them.  Even though Dwight Schrute loves them (Beets.  Bears.  Battlestar Gallactica).  This summer we joined a CSA, and we've got beets coming out of our ears, so I figured I'd better learn to love them - and now I do! My friend Michelle suggested that I start out eating them in a salad with some goat cheese.  She knows I love goat cheese!

This recipe is from The Pastry Queen, and she didn't disappoint.  Yes, its a little labor and time-intensive for a salad, but I ate this as my dinner, so I didn't mind.  If you want to serve this for company, the beets, pecans, and vinaigrette can all be prepared ahead of time.

The beets are roasted in a braising liquid containing chicken stock, white wine, sugar, vinegar, onion, and ginger.  Quite honestly I'm not sure that it really imparted that much extra flavor to the beets, but it did make for a flavorful component to vinaigrette.

Now that I know I love beets, I can't wait to experiment all summer with fun beet dishes!

One Year Ago:  The Infamous Cupcake Sliders

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Spicy Maple Pecans
adapted from Rebecca Rather, The Pastry Queen Parties
serves 8 as a first course, 4 as a main dish

Roasted Beets
  • 6 equal-size medium beets (about 2 pounds) washed and greens trimmed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 knob fresh ginger (with peel)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Spicy Maple Pecans
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted
Beet Vinaigrette
  • 6 Tablespoon reserved beet braising liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups arugula, spinach, or mixed greens
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
 Preheat the oven to 350.  Set the beets in a roasting pan or casserole dish.  Pour in the stock, wine, brown sugar, vinegar, onion, ginger, salt, and olive oil.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil or lid.  Roast until the beets are fork tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Use tongs to transfer the beets to a cutting board to cool to room temperature.  Reserve 6 Tablespoons of the braising liquid for the vinaigrette.

If you want to avoid red fingers, wear rubber gloves.  Cut off the stubble and tail, then peel the beet using your fingers or a peeler. Chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

To make the pecans. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  In a frying pan set over medium heat, combine 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, the maple syrup, sugar, cayenne, and 2 Tablespoons vinegar.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir in the pecans.  Continue stirring until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the pecans, about 10 minutes.  Pour the pecans onto the baking sheet, and allow to cool before breaking them apart.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the reserved braising liquid, lemon juice, both vinegars rosemary, mustard, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

To assemble the salad, Toss the beets with the salad greens and vinaigrette in a large bowl.  Divide evenly among serving plates and top with pecans and goat cheese.


Unknown said...

Goat cheese plus beets in delicious, also try gorgonzola - love it

Anonymous said...

That is the prettiest salad I've ever seen. It also sounds so delicious! I must try this!

Jessica said...

Oh girl this looks delish! YUM!

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