A salad recipe, I’ve contemplated posting one for some time now, but it always seemed like posting a recipe for a club sandwich – they’re basic, and no two people like their salads or sandwiches the same way. I say rye, you say wheat. I say mayo, you say mustard. I say bacon bits, you say stop with the comparisons!
But I’m pumped for this salad… it’s delicious, and the perfect opening act for any main course. Plus, I don’t want you all to think that I never eat or cook anything other than meat, cheese, bread and sweets.
This salad is just a template. You can omit the greens, you can use feta or blue cheese instead of goat cheese, you can add walnuts, pecans and/or pistachios, you can use regular oranges, you can use a simple combination of olive oil and vinegar for your dressing.
The tart and bitter combination of the dressing pairs perfectly with the earthiness of the beets, and the creaminess of the goat cheese. The fennel adds a delightful crunch, and the bitter juiciness of the oranges rounds the whole salad out.
Roasted Beet Salad with Shaved Fennel, Blood Oranges and Goat Cheese
4 red beets, tops and roots removed, well scrubbed
2 blood oranges, peeled and sliced
1 fennel bulb, top and bottom removed, thinly sliced
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1/2 pound mixed greens, spinach, or arugula
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup hard cider
1/2 blood orange, juiced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium shallot, minced
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place beets on a large piece of aluminum foil, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap foil around beets, forming a pouch. Roast for approximately 1 hour, until beets can be pierced easily. Set aside to cool.
While beets are roasting, slice oranges and fennel.
In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, cider, blood orange juice, mustard, shallot, and chives. Whisk in vinegar. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Peel cooled beets and slice into wedges.
Divide mixed greens evenly on four plates. Top with sliced beets, oranges, fennel and goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing, and enjoy!