If you recall, I first mentioned this beet salad when I made it as a side for my herbed lamb sirloins a couple of weeks ago.
This salad is a result of what makes me peevish at restaurants; order a beet salad and 9 times out of 10 it gets served with a whole bunch of greens, radicchio and what not and a couple of slices on roasted beets buried in the midst.
I don't know about you, but when I want a beet salad, I want beets to be the star of the show!
Hence this dish...
A little of experimentation with flavors and colors and textures and I think we've ended up with something good here. In the cold months, when I'm looking for a bit of sweetness, I love using pure grade 'A' maple syrup as a natural sweetener in my dressing. A little goes a long way with maple syrup.
The addition of cashews and cucumber is as much for crunch as it is for aesthetics. And the goat cheese? Well, beets and goat cheese are a match made in heaven.
Think how great these colors are going to look on your holiday table!
Roasted Beet Salad with Cashews in a Maple Vinaigrette
Shopping list / Serves 4-6
1-3/4 lbs. multi-colored beets
½ English cucumber
1 cup roasted cashews, salted
2-3 oz. Goat cheese
Chives, to yield 3 tbs. chopped
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. pure Grade A maple syrup
2 tsp. Champagne wine vinegar or any other wine vinegar you prefer
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 deg.f.
Beets: Cut away from the greens and use greens for soup or other preparations. Wash each whole beet. Wrap tightly in pieces of Aluminum foil. Place all the beets on a baking tray and roast for 45-50 minutes until a knife can easily pierce the largest beet in the lot.
Cucumber: Halve lengthwise and slice into thin semi-circles.
Vinaigrette: In a non-reactive metal or Pyrex mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and whish to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Whisk once more to combine just before using.
Spread a piece of parchment paper on the cutting board so not to stain the work surfaces.
Using a paring knife, peel the paper thin skin from the beets. Cut each beet into wedges – 8 wedges for large beets or 6 wedges for smaller beets.
Make ahead tips: Beets can be prepared the day before and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. All the other steps, just before serving.
Add the whisked vinaigrette, to the beets and set aside until ready to serve.
Just before serving, add the cashews, cucumber & chives and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cook’s Tip: Top with pinches of goat cheese and serve.
Once you add the goat cheese do not toss before bringing to the table.