Green Salad with Roasted Beets, Walnuts and Goat Cheese

roasted beet goat cheese and walnut salad - trust in kim

This is a beauty of a salad. You can use red beets, but as you can see, I chose to use golden beets this time. I love the combination of beets, goat cheese and walnuts with the shallot dressing. Roasting the beets ahead of time makes this a quick salad to put together at the last minute.

This recipe comes to us from The Vancouver Sun’s book The Best Salads.

You can buy cooked beets, but I prefer the taste of home-roasted beets. The original recipe asked you to slice and bake the beets. I roasted them whole instead.

I bought a beautiful Okanogan, BC goat cheese from Dussa’s at Granville Island, Vancouver for this salad.

What you need for the salad:

  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

What you need for the salad:

  • 5 beets (1 & 1/4 pounds in total)
  • foil for cooking the beets
  • 4 cups salad greens
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup soft unripened goat cheese
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Roast the beets ahead of time, or early enough that they have time to cool down before using in the salad. Wash, then cover each beet in foil. Bake at 400F for about 50 minutes. Test with a sharp knife to see if they are soft all the way through. When the beets have cooled, peel the skins off. Refrigerate if you are making them ahead of time. Take them out of the fridge at least an hour before using, so they can come to room temperature.
  2. After the beets come out of the oven, turn the oven off and put the walnuts on a baking sheet in the oven. Check them after about 5 minutes to see how they are doing. Keep them in the oven until they are lightly toasted – beware, though – even with the oven off they can burn easily. Let them cool, then put them in an airtight container if you won’t be using them right away.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and let it sit for at least an hour. This can be made ahead and refrigerated.
  4. Toss the greens with some of the vinaigrette and arrange on large plates for serving. Slice the room temperature beets and arrange them on top, along with some goat cheese and walnuts. Add a little more vinaigrette to the top if you wish. Salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Enjoy!

 

Fresh Fava Bean and Summer Vegetable Salad

fava bean salad - trust in kimfava beans - trust in kim

This winter I saw a few recipes that called for fresh fava beans, but I’ve never been able to find them in a store, so I chose this to be one of my experimental crops in my community garden this year.  They are a bit of work to shuck and peel, but they are so tender and delicious.  I think I’ll be growing them again next year to try out a few of the other recipes.  This salad capitalizes on the availability of fresh vegetables in the summertime, at the peak of their flavour.

What you need:

  • about a pound of fava beans in their shells
  • one cob of fresh corn, cooked and the kernels cut off
  • a few small cucumbers or half a large one
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • your favourite vinaigrette or this one:
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • a little salt and pepper
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

What you do:

  1. Toast the walnuts a little and let them cool.  I do this is a frying pan, tossing often and watching them carefully so they don’t burn.
  2. Cook the corn and let it cool. You can boil it for just a few minutes or grill it.
  3. While the corn and nuts are cooling down you can prepare the fava beans.  Begin by boiling a large pot of water.  Remove the beans from their pods, then boil for 2 & 1/2 to 3 minutes; less time for smaller beans.  Drain then cool down right away in a bowl or sink full of cold water; ice water is even better.
  4. Now comes the labourious part – remove the skin from each bean. Make sure you’re listening to some good music and the time will pass quickly.
  5. Mix the vinaigrette ingredients and pour some of it over the sliced red pepper to mellow the flavour a little. Let this sit for about 20 minutes.
  6. Slice the cucumbers as thinly as you can, with a mandoline.
  7. Combine the cooled fava beans, corn, cucumbers, and the onion with its dressing.  Toss lightly, then add more dressing if you think it is needed; I liked it best lightly dressed.
  8. Top with the toasted nuts just before serving.