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Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

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Description

Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts features beets, that under appreciated root vegetable. The combination of roasted beets and creamy goat cheese makes a delicious autumn salad and the toasted pine nuts add a pleasing crunch. Beets come in a variety of colours so if you are buying yours at the market try any combination for a gorgeous presentation.

Roasting Vegetables for Salad with Beets

I picked all the beets from my garden last weekend and roasted a few packages of them. I like to do that so I can enjoy them in my lunch or in another salad during the week. To roast beets simply take a square piece of foil, place 3-5 beets in the centre and fold up the package twisting the foil closed at the top. I like to drizzle the beets with olive oil and sometimes add a few fresh herbs or a clove of garlic. Place them in a 350°F oven and bake for one hour. They are cooked when you can easily pierce the beet with a knife. Prepare the packages with similar sized beets since the larger ones will take longer to cook.

Handling beets can stain your hands red and ruin your clothes. To prevent this you can wear an apron and use disposable rubber gloves…or just wish you had, you decide. Once baked the skins peel off easily and since the beets are not being served hot you can allow them to cool before peeling. They can then be put into an airtight container and stored in the fridge for about a week so you can enjoy this gluten free Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts more than once.

Shallot Vinaigrette for Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

I always make my own salad dressing. I created this habit as a young cook and decided that store bought dressing had flavours that seemed artificial. I can make a dressing in less than two minutes because I  keep a good selection of oils and vinegars in my pantry. When I prepared this Shallot Vinaigrette it was enough for our salad with a little leftover to put in a container for my lunch. Sometimes I make a double recipe just to have some dressing in the fridge.

Let me know what you thought of this salad.

Ingredients

BEET SALAD
3-4 small beets
4 cups greens (any soft lettuce combination)
1/2 cup goat cheese
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE
1 small shallot, minced
1½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
GARNISH - cilantro or mint leaves

Directions

1
Wrap beets in a foil package. Bake in a 400°F oven until tender, about an hour. Allow to cool slightly, peel and cut into chunks. Set aside.
2
Make vinaigrette by whisking ingredients together in a small bowl.
3
Toss lettuce using as much vinaigrette as needed. Transfer to 4 plates.
4
Scatter beets and small bits of the goat cheese over the greens. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
5
Garnish with cilantro or mint leaves if desired.

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