Sunday, April 24, 2011

Baby Greens with Beets, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

For years, I wasn't able to eat salads of any sort due to my Crohns disease. After my resection last year, things like fresh vegetables, salads, fruit, etc were all of a sudden available to me again but we still haven't gotten into the habit of buying/eating green salads at home. So, when I was working on my Easter menu I decided to have a salad course just because I could!

This salad was from the April 2011 Cooking Light magazine. I've never prepared beets at home so it sounded like a fun challenge to prepare them. And, I have a deep love for goat cheese...

Since I fried up bacon for the eggs, I decided to go ahead and throw about 4 slices, crumbled, into the salad and am glad I did. I'm sure Cooking Light left it out due to the nutritional content but the salad really shined with the addition of the salty bits of bacon. The perfect bite was a little bacon, bite of beet, and a crumble of goat cheese. In the obnoxious words of Rachael Ray - yummo!

Since not everyone enjoys beets, I served them on the side.

Note: You can roast the beets up to two days in advance. I roasted them Saturday night, once they cooled I put them in the fridge overnight and peeled/sliced them Sunday afternoon before lunch.

Baby Greens with Beets, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese
Plenty for 5 first-course servings

3 medium beets (I ended up only using 1.5 of them)
1 cup water
4 cups mixed baby salad greens
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon EVOO
Crumbled goat cheese (I used a lot - because I like it)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
4 slices crumbled cooked bacon

Preheat oven to 375.

Leave root and 1 inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place beets and 1 cup water in a 13x9 baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until tender. Cool; trim off roots and rub off skins. Slice beets into small pieces and allow to cool completely.

Place the greens, bacon, and parsley in a large bowl; toss. Combine vinegar, pinch of salt, and a few cracks of fresh ground pepper and stir with a whisk. Gradually drizzle in oil, stirring constantly with the whisk. Drizzle dressing over the greens mixture and toss gently.

Arrange greens on each plate and top with sliced beets, goat cheese, and nuts.

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