I apologize in advance for the poor quality of pictures. I have the hardest time taking pictures of bright foods, so the combination of shiny beets with white goat cheese is a challenge.
My original intention was to make two meals one with a beet salad and the other with a mushroom salad. In the end I wasn’t overly excited about the two meals I planned so I modified my recipes. I decided to make two simple salads to enjoy with some homemade crostini. Both salads were nothing short of delicious, in fact I had a non-beet eater loving my beet salad.
- Focaccia Bread
- Olive Oil
1. Slice bread into small pieces.
2. Lay flat on a baking sheet and coat thinly in olive oil.
3. Bake in a 350° oven until lightly browned and crispy, flipping over, toasting both sides.
Roasted Beet Salad
- 3 Medium Beets
- Slivered Almonds, ~1/2 cup
- Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese, ~1/3 of a log
- Pea Shoots
- Balsamic Vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Slice off the tops of the beets and most of the root. Thoroughly wash/scrub to remove all the dirt and then dry. Wrap each beet individually in foil and place in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Stab each beet through the center, with foil still on, to see if they are tender. When they are cooked through, let them cool with foil on. (Since I get out of work so late I made these the night before. Once they were finished I let them cool and then placed in the fridge still wrapped in foil until the next night).
3. Peel the beets. I use the edge of a spoon and the skin scrapes right off. Slice however you’d prefer. I chose to first slice each beet in half, then into thin half moons, and lastly I sliced the half moons in half to make triangles. Place sliced beets in a bowl.
4. Toast the slivered almonds in a skillet until slightly browned and fragrant. Add to the beets.
5. Chop the pea shoots into small bite sized pieces. Add to the beets.
6. Salt the beet mixture and add as much crumbled goat cheese as you’d like. Mix well and taste test.
7. Since Joshua is not a huge vinegar fan I served the balsamic on the side. Feel free to add it into the salad if you’d like.
This salad was perfect. The pea shoots, starchy and a bit bitter, were a tasty balance to the sweet beets. I was originally looking for sunflower sprouts, but the stores were out. In the end I prefer the pea shoots. Also the nuts were a crucial component. Toasted they offer a nutty flavor with a bit of crunch. And as for the goat cheese, well goat cheese and beets are a perfect couple so enough said.
- Button Mushrooms, about a dozen sliced thin
- Shallot, sliced into thin rings
- Garlic Nuggets, because I was too lazy to peel and chop fresh
- Fresh Baby Arugula, two handfuls
- White Wine, ~1-2 tablespoons
- Brigante Cheese, chopped into small cubes
- Olive Oil
1. In a skillet heat some olive oil over medium high heat.
2. Add the shallot to the oil and cook until the rings start to soften.
3. Add the arugula to the shallot and mix well.
4. Once arugula is just starting to wilt add the mushrooms.
5. Once the mushrooms have started to soften and shrink add the white wine to deglaze the pan.
6. Cook off the white wine and season with s&p.
7. Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Once cooled a bit add the cheese. (I didn’t want the cheese to melt).
Brigante is a sheep milk cheese from the Italian island of Sardinia. Manufactured by Fratelli Pinna, a cheese-making company located in the north of the Island, this pecorino cheese is semi-soft in texture with a pale, ivory color. Matured for about three weeks, it has a mild and creamy flavor with citrus undertones. Its texture is smooth, moist, and fairly elastic. Being a sheep cheese lover I decided to try it. For me this made the mushroom salad. It was a bit pungent resembling swiss cheese. I don’t particularly like swiss cheese but this I liked.