Scott and I have been purchasing our produce from a local farm for just over a year now. It has been a wonderful exploration of local, organic, sustainable agriculture, and also a learning experience. What, for example, do you do when you DO NOT like beets, mustard greens, radishes, and kale, but this is what happens to be in season in the spring and thus is what overflows your produce share on a weekly basis?
Well, friends, you find out a way that you DO like it, then share it with everyone else who may not like these things as well, in hopes of creating some measurable amount of peace between the taste buds and local produce.
My dear friend and cooking buddy, A, is one I will call upon when I am in need of inspiration for an ingredient I dislike. She is a foodie, like myself, but is more willing to tackle the battle of making undesirable food taste good than I. So, I call her, after she has already done the work ;-)
This recipe is entirely hers. I can take no credit. I will say that it is delicious, and it has mended my relationship with beets. Beets and I are now friends. I can now appreciate beets for more than just that beautiful, rich, fuchsia color they emit when sliced.
This recipe will serve 2 to 4, depending on how big you make the salad.
what you need:
2 small beets, washed and cut into 1/2" to 1" cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
a few large handfuls of mesclun greens or spinach (whichever happens to be in our produce share that week is what I use)
2 oz of goat cheese
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
*Put all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously until well combined.
what to do:
For the salad-
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Place the beets on a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, tossing until all pieces are evenly coated
Place beets in the oven and roast until fork-tender and lightly brown on the edges (approximately 20 min., may take longer)
Wash the greens and place into a large salad bowl
Toast the pecans in a small saute pan over medium heat until the edges turn slightly brown (you will need to frequently toss the nuts around in the pan so as not to burn them)
Place roasted beets, toasted pecans, and crumbled goat cheese on top of the greens and toss with balsamic vinaigrette