Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Roasted Beet Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Dill in a Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

It's maple season and, in my opinion, there is no better way to enjoy the taste of maple than to layer it into various components of the same dish. Yum! This salad is delightful, and flavourful, and I love it so much that I have made it at least six times in the past two weeks. I love it so much that I could not help but share it with you for this week's post.


For the Salad:

Mesculin mix lettuce (as much as you need)
Spinach (as much as you need)
1 cup walnuts
1 shallot finely diced
3 red beets
2 tbsp maple syrup (I like the dark amber No. 2 for this recipe)
2 tbsp butter
75 g soft goat cheese
Fresh dill (as much as you like)
Grilled chicken breast (optional - this is a nice addition)

For the Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar (the good stuff)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Pinch of salt
Pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit
Roast the beets - leave the skin on and rub the beets with olive oil. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with foil and roast for one hour or until you can pierce the beet easily with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In the meantime, candy the walnuts. In a medium fry pan and over medium heat toast the walnuts until they are fragrant or slightly browned. Add the butter and toss to coat the walnuts evenly. Then, add the maple syrup and reduce the heat to low. Continue to toast until the syrup dries a little. It is very important to watch the nuts as they can burn easily. Remove from heat and set aside. Reserve any syrup left in the pan for the dressing.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut off the ends. Cut the beets in half and then cut each half into eights.

Make the dressing - mix all of the ingredients and whisk until thick.

In a large salad bowl, place the lettuce and spinach on the bottom and add the chopped beets. Add the shallot, goat cheese, walnuts, and fresh dill. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Yum! This salad is sooooooo delicious (and nutritious - BONUS)!

Make extra and take it for lunch - nothing says "I love myself" more than bringing gourmet salads for lunch!



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