Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Roasted Beet, Cucumber and Goat Cheese Salad

I used three ingredients from the share to make this delicious salad--beets, cucumbers and spring onions. The only non-local ingredient was the goat cheese, which was from Vermont (not too far away). I always liked the taste of roasted beets--as with most roasting, the technique brings out the sweetness of this veggie in a way that almost makes them taste as sweet as candy. Adding the beets to the cool cucumber, some greens and the creamy goat cheese make for a refreshing summer salad. I started with Giada de Laurentiis' recipe and substituted from there. I did not have any walnuts on hand, but I think they would be a great addition to this recipe for a little extra crunch and layer of flavors.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 spring onion (head and stems) thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey/agave nectar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 medium beets, washed, trimmed and halved
5 cups fresh arugula/beet greens
1 large cucumber, sliced in 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped (optional)
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the vinegar, top of spring onion (finely diced), and honey or agave in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss the beets in a small bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the beets are slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes (turning once after 10 minutes) and tender but still firm. Set aside and cool. When cool, dice beets into 1/4 inch cubes.

Wash and dry the arugula or beet greens. If using beet greens, cut off any extra stem, roll into a chiffonade and cut into small pieces. Combine greens, diced cucumber, diced beets, diced stem of spring onion, and walnuts (optional) in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Marinate for up to an hour if desired, sprinkle with goat cheese just prior to serving.

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