Sunday, January 17, 2016

Roasted balsamic beet salad

This is a salad that I did for a dinner with friends. It's a perfect winter salad, but make the portions small or you'll ruin your appetite. You certainly could buy spiced pecans instead of making them.

For 4

Baby spinach, washed and dried well (I measure out about a handful per person)
1/2 a small red onion sliced thin
1 orange, peeled halved and sliced (be sure to grate the rind first and reserve)
Chevre, crumbled
Roasted, marinated beets
Spiced pecans
Lemon/orange dressing

Preheat oven to 400
For roasted beets
Olive oil
4 beets

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2tbl sugar
1/2 tsp thyme
Grated peel of 1/2 orange
Grated peel of 1 lemon
Fresh ground pepper

Peel the beets and cut into 4 or 6 pieces, depending on the size of your beets. Toss with olive oil and salt, and place in one layer on a roasting pan (I line mine with release aluminum foil for easy clean up). Let roast 30 minutes.

While hot, dump beets into bowl and add remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and sugar. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.

Spiced pecans
1 cup pecan halves
Tbl corn syrup
Salt, pepper, sugar, cayenne, smoked paprika

Toast pecans in a skillet. Pour into a bowl and toss with corn syrup while hot. Now, season with spices, toss, taste, and reseason. When they taste deliciously salty, spicy, sweet set them aside.

Lemon-orange Dressing
Juice of 1 lemon
balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove crushed and finely minced
1-2 tbl sugar
Grated orange rind of half an orange
Extra virgin olive oil

Squeeze lemon juice into a measuring cup. Add balsamic to 1/4 cup line. Add salt, pepper, dijon, orange rind, garlic, sugar.  Add extra virgin olive oil to 3/4 cup line. Pour into a container with a lid and shake well.

Toss spinach, orange slices, and onion with sald dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on plates and top with beets, cheese, and spiced pecans.

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