Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beet Salad

Have you noticed beet salad popping up on every restaurant menu?! Remeber when it used to be the blue cheese and caramelized walnuts with cranberry combination? Well now beets are the new trendy salad star. I must say the best I have had was at Marche Moderne in Costa Mesa. It was served with this whipped goat cheese ice cream scoop creation. Sounds bizarre but it was light and delicious. I loved it. I have been ordering beet salad every time I see it on a menu, and finally decided I would try cooking them myself at home. It turned out to be pretty easy and was a Mothers Day brunch hit!

I found the recipe in one of my new cookbooks, Bouchon, by Thomas Keller. Another great wedding gift, thanks to Mr. Cameron Fine. I often read my cookbooks at night before bed. (WHAT?! That's not normal?) Anyway, don't be scared of roasting these delicious iron-rich treats.

Ingredients for the salad:
  • Toasted walnuts (10 minutes on a cookie sheet in a 350 oven)

  • 8 beets (I used both red and golden beets)

  • goat cheese (I buy the log and then crumble myself)

  • shallots

  • Mache greens (sounds scary, but I am finding this salad green in most grocery stores now, even Trader Joes!)

  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

Cut off the greens of the beets and trim stems to about 1 inch. Toss them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of water, salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 350, covered with foil, for about 50 minutes or until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and let cool. The recipe said to rub the warm beets with a paper towel to remove the skin but I found this advice confusing. It just didn't work for me. So I simply used a vegetable peeler, or you can use a small sharp knife.

Dice the beets and drizzle with a little olive oil and the red wine vinegar. Add the walnuts, shallots, and mache and toss in the vinaigrette below. Top with crumbled goat cheese.

Walnut Vinaigrette

  • 1 tb Dijon mustard

  • 1 tbs champagne vinegar

  • 1/2 cup walnut oil

  • 1tbs lemon juice

  • 1 tsp honey (not in original recipe but I added it)

  • salt and pepper

I don't have a picture of the final product because it was Mothers Day and I just plain forgot because we were all too excited to dig in. I think your family will love it too!



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