Brian and I have a favorite restaurant that we used to go to when we were dating and first married. When we moved back home from the big city, it was one of the first restaurants we visited. Lucky for us 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. I noticed 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 it was my chance to get my beet fix.
Who knew beets, goat cheese, and orange vinaigrette would be so good? Now I have two things to always order.
The only problems was this salad was too good to have only once or twice a year. I had to figure out how to replicate it at home. Since I’m not the “I can tell what’s in a dish just by tasting” kind of person, I was lucky this recipe was full of simple ingredients.
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
Let’s start layering the good stuff on individual salad plates or a large platter.
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 mom? I love onions now, even though I spent hours picking them out of dishes when I was younger…).
Whew, I’m so glad you can see the leaf with the bug hole better now. (Can you spot it? Pretend it’s “I Spy.”)
Add some roasted beets cut into pieces (you can thaw them by submerging the bag under warm water if using frozen, roasted beets).
This tutorial will show you how to prepare and roast beets in case you don’t know (like I didn’t) AND it will show you how you can preserve those beets by simply freezing them. Yep, and they taste just as good after months in your freezer as they do the day you roast them!
Add some crumbled goat cheese and a handful of chopped walnuts, pecans, or other nut you’d enjoy. I’ve also used sunflower seeds, too, and have even left nuts or seeds out entirely – it’s your choice.
Arrrgh. Why, oh why, didn’t I see that dumb hole before taking the pictures?
Finish the roasted beet salad with a homemade orange vinaigrette made by adding some orange juice and orange rind (if you have it) to a basic vinaigrette (and since this recipe already shows 4 ways to change up this dressing, you’ll now have 5!).
Though it’s perfectly okay to eat this with a basic vinaigrette when you don’t have any orange around – I’ve found using balsamic in the vinaigrette is particularly good.
Oh, and this is the salad that my guest who didn’t like beets actually liked. Give it a try and you may find yourself on the beet-lovers side of the fence, too.
Me? I ate the salad in these pictures for lunch all by myself.