Last summer I was reading Slashfood and there was this post about a “restaurant” salad at home. The salad itself was something along the lines of roasted sliced beets, arugula, gorgonzola and toasted nuts with a vinaigrette dressing. This has become one of our favorite salads; we vary the greens, the specific type of blue cheese and the nuts but always dress it with our basic balsamic vinaigrette. Some permutations are better than others, the salad benefits was the bite of arugula (or at least a lettuce mix) and some cheese just don’t sing on it but overall we always look for to this salad and eat a generous serving as a meal. The salad is best with warm beets, but of course it is much quicker to make if you have roasted beets waiting in the fridge.
Fabulous Beet Salad
- arugula (or a mix of lettuces)
- roasted beets
- blue cheese, crumbled
- toasted almonds (slices or slivers)
- balsamic vinaigrette
Toss everything together and enjoy 🙂
To roast beets
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Scrub the beets and cut the greens off about 1″ from the bulb, wrap in aluminum foil and toss in the oven. Bake for 25-45 minutes, depending on beet size. They are done when a fork or knife pierces the flesh easily. Remove from the oven until cool enough to handle. At this point you can also put them in the fridge for another day. Slice the pointy root and the stem off and peel the beet. Slice into thick or thin rounds or half-rounds.
Blue cheeses I’ve liked on this salad
the wedge of gorgonzola at Trader Joes, I believe it is the BelGioioso brand
Rouge Creamery’s Smokey Blue (but not the Oregonzola – but that might be because we love the smokey blue so much)
To toast nuts
I buy most of my nuts in small quantities in the bulk food aisle, then I toast the nuts right before I use them. I actually have two methods, but use the stove top method more often as it only takes a couple minutes. Heat a small, non-stick skillet over medium heat, sprinkle nuts in the skillet. Stir or shake frequently until they are turning gold and fragrant. Watch it very closely since they go from golden to burnt in the blink of an eye. I’d say I stir every 30 seconds to minute, more often as they are closer to being done.
Okay, I’m just guestimating here since I’ve stopped measuring for this vinaigrette. If this method doesn’t work for you do a quick search on epicurious or martha’s site. Pour a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar in a small jar or bowl. Add a pinch of salt, a grind of pepper and a small spoonful (like 1/2 teaspoon or so) of dijon mustard (a small crushed clove of garlic is also nice). Stir until it is uniform and taste for seasonings. Slooooowly drizzle in olive oil while at the same time whisking vigorously. You want at least equal parts vinegar and oil, but can go up to 2 or 3 parts oil to vinegar. If the oil doesn’t seem to be blending with the vinegar stop drizzling but keep whisking until it is emulisfying nicely and then resume drizzling the oil in. Taste and adjust an ingredients if it seems unbalanced.