Brian and I have a favorite restaurant that we used to go to when we were dating and first married. When we moved back from the big city, it was one of the first restaurants we visited. Luckily it’s still in business all these years later.
It’s an Italian restaurant and I always get the same thing (sorry, I know that sounds kinda sad, but we don’t go often enough that I want to miss out on my favorite…), the “Four Seasons” pizza. They did have a new salad with beets that hadn’t been on the menu all those years ago, and since I’m about the only one who likes beets in our house this was my chance to get my beet fix.
Beets, goat cheese, and orange vinaigrette? Great, now I have two things to always order.
This salad was so good, however, I had to figure out how to replicate it at home. Luckily for me (not the “I can tell what’s in a dish just by tasting” kind of person) it’s got pretty simple ingredients.
Start with a bed of lettuce. Bonus points if it’s homegrown. Extra bonus points if a prominent leaf has a nice hole in it left from a bug.
Add some thinly sliced onion- sweet is best, but I take whatever I can get in the onion department (did you hear that ma? I love onions now, even though I spent hours picking them out of things in my youth…)
Whew, I’m so glad you can see the leaf with the bug hole better now.
Great. Bug hole’s still there. Didn’t I take a photography workshop recently?
Add some crumbled goat cheese and garnish with a handful of chopped walnuts. I’ve been known to use pecans or sunflower seeds, too, or even to just forgo the nuts- your choice.
Arrrgh. Why, oh why, didn’t I see that dumb hole before taking the pictures?
Finish the salad with a homemade Orange Vinaigrette made by adding some orange juice and orange rind (if you have it) to a basic vinaigrette (though I eat this with a regular vinaigrette when I don’t have any orange around- shhhh, don’t tell anyone, OK?).
I swear, that holey leaf is going to haunt me in my sleep.
But don’t let that stop you from making this salad- it’s the one that my guest who didn’t like beets liked. Give it a try and you may find yourself on the beet-lovers side of the fence.
Roasted Beet Salad With Goat Cheese
Layer on a platter in desired amounts:
- Chopped lettuce
- Thinly sliced onions
- Peeled and roasted beets, cut into chunks
- Crumbled goat cheese
- Chopped walnuts
Drizzle with Orange Vinaigrette:
- Make Pantry Basic Vinaigrette, but
- add 1/4 c. orange juice and reduce the vinegar to just 1/8 c. (or 3 TB.) and
- add a couple teaspoons of orange rind.[/recipe]
Makes however much you want. As a reference, I ate the salad in the pictures for lunch all by myself…