Can we talk about beets for just a minute? No, not the horrid canned and pickled kind. But those cute round looking roots you find sitting on the shelf of your grocery store that come in a variety of sizes and colours but are always kinda dirty looking. I love beets. I especially love roasted beets. The first time I roasted beets it looked like a bloody mess and me being as clumsy as I am, I stained my clothes. You shouldn’t let my experimental ways steer you away, because if you’ve never roasted your own fresh beets you are surely missing out.
It seems that beets are often forgotten a food – well not unless you are up to date with the latest gourmet food trends – but for many of us regular folk beets aren’t something that are regularly incorporated into our diets. I’m sure you’d agree the less tasty, pickled form may take the blame for giving these guys a bad wrap. It is a shame that they aren’t more prominent in our diets. A five minute google search will show you plenty of health benefits and uses, such as being good for your mental health, cleansing the body, being a source of energy and full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. (They may even boost your production of sex hormones… If you uh, need some assistance).
The process of roasting beets is nearly effortless, making all the more reason why this is one of my favourite salads. It also has every component a good salad needs – a mix of fresh lettuce, sweet roasted beets, creamy goat cheese and some seeds to give it a little extra crunch. It is topped with a honey balsamic dressing to balance it all out. Often times I don’t feel like making an extra trip to the store so I use what I have on hand. The leafy base of this salad can be switched up, I had curly leaf lettuce and spinach, but this would also be wonderful with some mixed green lettuce or arugula. The pumpkin seeds can be swapped for any type of seeds or nuts, even some candied walnuts or pecans. Flexible, easy and healthy for you – give it a try!
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette
Whole grain mustard
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If necessary trim the ends of the beets and wash. Place the whole beets in a tin foil package with a drizzle of olive oil. Fold up package and place on a baking pan. Roast the beets until tender. Roasting times will vary, typically 25-30 minutes for medium sized beets and up to an hour for large beets.
While the beets are cooking wash and dry lettuce of choice. To prepare the vinaigrette I like to place the contents in a mason jar or sealable container and simply shake to combine. When making dressings I typically use 1 part acid to 3 parts oil, and add my additional ingredients. Add the honey to taste, typically if I am making approximately a cup of dressing I would use a tablespoon of honey. The honey is used to round out all of the flavours so taste as you go.
Once the beets are roasted chop them into bite sized pieces. Assemble salad by first dressing the leaves and then topping with beets, crumbled goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.