Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Lazy-ish Cook: Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

I like beets well enough, but am not a huge fan (except in the case of borscht, which I love with every fiber of my being). Anyway, I feel like beet and goat cheese salads pop up on menus pretty frequently so I thought I'd give it a go myself. Also, as winter (finally! finally!) comes to a close, I want to make all those wintery dishes I didn't get around to before the ingredients go out of season again. Hence the beet and goat cheese salad.

This recipe is undoubtedly lazy. It was created at about midnight when I realized I had never really gotten around to eating that day and felt pretty weak. Since it was so late and I was tired, I didn't do nearly as much with it as I could have. All in all, though, it was pretty good.

So here's what I did:
I took one fully cooked medium-sized beet (I got pre-cooked fresh beets in the produce section of my favorite bio-food store) and cut it into smallish chunks. I then stuck them in the oven at 220 c, which is about 425 f, for about 15 minutes until they kind of caramelized on the outside. Next time I would make the pieces smaller so that they could dry out and caramelize even more.

I made a variation of one of my favorite salad dressings by combining almost equal parts of apple cider vinegar and olive oil (maybe 2-3 tsp of each, with slightly more oil perhaps), a teaspoon or so of honey, and as many red pepper flakes as you'd like. I like it pretty spicy. Just whisk it with a fork until the honey is more or less dissolved and the dressing is slightly thickened.

For my greens I used veldsla (the Dutch name), which is called salade de blé in French and feldsalat in German. (Belgium being a tri-lingual country, many things are labled in all three languages. I like this because I have three chances to figure out what something is, and it's pretty rare that I'm unsuccessful that way.) I don't recall ever seeing this particular green in the US before, but I assume it's called field salad if we do have it. All that to say: I used veldsla, but any salad green will do.

To assemble, I tossed the greens in the dressing and then topped them with goat cheese and walnut pieces, followed by the still-warm beets. And then I dotted this salad, as I do so many things I eat, with balsamic crema. I also toasted and buttered a section of a baguette to go along with it.

Not rocket science or a great culinary creation, but a fast, easy, tasty and healthy solution nonetheless.

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