i know a lovely, wild, beautiful woman from my college days when i was the nanny for her 3 gorgeous children and i was an assistant at her preschool. i just recently (finally, thankfully) got back in touch with her. she, and 2 friends of hers, have been plowing, planting, weeding and harvesting up a storm on their new farm, 3 graces farming, which is a 5 minute bike ride from our house. i will talk more (lots more) about the farm another day, right now i really just really need to talk about this salad.
i am a little ashamed to say that i have never cooked with fresh beets before. i know that once you roast them they get super sweet and delicious, and i know that they are super simple to roast, but for whatever reason, i have just never ventured and actually done it.
that all changed the other day when i was at the farm and one of the ladies decided to pull a couple beets out of the ground to see if they were ripe. i can not resist vegetables when they are straight from the earth and so when she offered them to me, i just about jumped at the chance. i didn't even have to spend any money on these uber-fresh beets, beets that were grown without any pesticides or other weird stuff.
i was a happy girl.
after searching these old interwebs and asking for some suggestions on my facebook page, i settled on a roasted beet and chevre salad (thanks, a girl and her fork!) with an orange, mint and cumin vinaigrette.
i can now happily say, that i am seriously in love with roasted beets. i am a convert. they do not resemble that stuff you get from the can. nope, not one bit. they are flavorful, earthy, sweet and perfect with a little creamy, crumbly goat cheese and that slightly sweet citrus vinaigrette. add in the earthy flavor of the cumin and the bright herbal note from the mint and you have one delightful salad!
get on this, people.
roasted beet salad with chevre and an orange, mint + cumin vinaigrette
makes 4 sides or 2 entree salads
5 beets (washed, rubbed with olive oil, s+p, wrapped in tin foil and baked @ 400 for 50 minutes)
4T cup fresh mint, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
3T freshly squeezed orange juice
salt + pepper
after you roast the beets, let them cool then peel and slice about 1/4 inch thick.
make vinaigrette with mint, honey, juice, cumin, olive oil and a pinch of salt. whisk it all together, taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.
pour vinaigrette over beets and gently toss. or place servings on plates and then drizzle with the vinaigrette (this is prettier). when the salad is plated, dot (liberally, in my opinion)
with goat cheese and more torn fresh mint leaves.
this recipe is so easy to make vegan- just omit the goat cheese and use agave or a little sugar in place of the honey!