Saturday, June 6, 2009

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Chive Dressing

Beets are a "nutritional powerhouse" of vegetables and can be cooked in a variety of ways. The rich, colorful hues of beets make for a dramatic presentation in any salad. When beets are in season, (summer through winter) they are tender and sweet which pairs nicely with tangy goat cheese. They have also become a recent fixture in fine dining where you may see anything from beet soup to beet "carpaccio."

Ingredients (makes 4 dinner sized salads)

1 T fresh chopped chives
1/2 t minced shallot
2 T balsamic vinegar
3 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

2 cups cooked barley- cook in vegetable broth with a little salt for added flavor
3 cups mixed greens- I used mache, spinach and red leaf lettuce
2 beets, peeled and sliced into thin circles
1/2 a red onion, sliced into rings
4 ounces herbed goat cheese

Prepare dressing by combining ingredients together and whisking vigorously. Let dressing set while cooking the remainder of your salad to let the flavors marry.

In a steamer attachment on your stove, steam beet slices for approximately 12 minutes or until you can pierce them with a knife. Let cool to room temperature.

Assemble salad by putting a bed of grains on your plate. Add greens, beets and rings of onion. Drizzle with dressing and top with crumbled goat cheese and fresh cracked salt and pepper.

  • When purchasing beets, get ones that are about 2 inches in diameter that still have healthy looking greens attached. They can be stored in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
  • The highly nutritious green tops of beets can be eaten as well– in a salad or cooked like you would spinach.
  • Next time, I might add mandarin orange wedges to this salad

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