Let me preface this post by saying I am honestly not much of a salad person. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat them, order them at restaurants, but I rarely make them myself. This is for a few reasons: 1. I always seem to forget about the greens in my fridge and they turn to black sludge. 2. There are millions of others types of foods I would rather try making. 3. Salads never fill me up. 4. I’d rather make salad from during fresh from the garden season, not the grocery store.
I recently went to the Des Moines Art Center’s cafe – Baru at the Art Center – for lunch with family and a salad on the menu piqued my interest. I liked it so much that I actually thought about it a few times since then, and decided to make my own version of it, tweaking it slightly. I made it last week for a dinner with friends and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. It is one I will make again once the farm-fresh home-grown produce comes in.
This recipe can be done in stages. I roasted the beets the previous day, so they could chill in the fridge before combining them with the rest of the salad makings. I did not specify exact amounts with the goat cheese, lettuce, and pecans, as I figured these are a matter of taste. I did use a standard-sized box of mixed greens from the grocery store, for my recipe.
Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Peel and dice 2-3 medium beets into 1-inch chunks. Spread into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once.
2. Once beets are cooked, remove from pan and chill.
3. To prepare salad, combine in a large bowl: mixed greens, 1/4 – 1/2 of small red onion, thinly sliced, and roasted beets.
4. Top with crumbled goat cheese, pecan halves, and honey balsamic vinegar dressing (see below).
Honey Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
1. Combine in a jar: 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1-2 teaspoons honey, ground black pepper. Place lid on jar, shake thoroughly.