My Favorite Salad

Beet-Goat-Cheese-Pecan-Salad“Favorite” is not a word I use often when describing food. “Top three” is more my speed. Top three favorite cuisines – French, Italian and Spanish. Top three favorite cheeses – chèvre, stilton and burrata. Top three favorite pastas – pappardella, cavatelli and gnocchi – and narrowing down those took me 4o minutes! So to label this salad as my “favorite” says something.

I’m not a dressing on the side kinda gal. A salad that serves as a meal needs to be a complex merriment of layered flavors, and fulfilling enough that I’m not hungry two hours later. This salad meets those requirements. A combination of roasted beets resembling little jewels, sweet and salty candied pecans, sour pickled red onions, velvety baby spinach, crunchy julienne carrots, creamy chèvre and a fresh lemon vinaigrette leaves me more than satisfied!

ROASTED BEET SALAD
Serves 2 as a meal, or 4 as a side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 4 small beets, roasted
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup of julienne carrots
  • 4 oz. chèvre
  • 4 oz. of candied pecans (I like Emerald Glazed Pecans)
  • olive oil

Ingredients for vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. of good olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. of honey

Pickled onions

  • Place vinegar and 1 tbsp. of honey in a small pot and boil on low for 5 minutes. Place thinly sliced onions in a bowl and pour vinegar mixture on top. Let sit for at least an hour at room temperature or preferable overnight in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally. 

Roasted Beets

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Remove top and roots of the beets and peel. Cut beets into 1″ chunks. Place on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tsp. of olive oil to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Roast until fork tender, around 25-30 minutes.
  • Adjust salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Vinaigrette

  • Whisk lemon juice, honey, and dijon in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking quickly to emulsify mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Salad

  • Drain pickled onions.
  • Julienne carrots – or buy a bag already cut like I do 😉
  • Arrange spinach leaves on a platter.
  • Top with beets, onions, carrots, chèvre and pecans.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • Serve immediately.

*You can also switch it up – pickle the beets and roast the onions!

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