I am excited about this salad (I must live a sheltered life). What a beautiful combination of flavours and textures: roasted beets, juicy pears, balsamic vinegar, honey, candied walnuts and goat cheese. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I bought a bag of small little beets at the market a few days ago and finally got around to recruit them for dinner today. I wrapped them in a foil packet with a little water so they don’t dry out, placed the packet on a baking sheet and roasted them in a hot oven (400℉) for a while (20-30 min) until they were fork-tender. When they cooled a bit I peeled them and left the glistening red “gems” intact.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them at the time so into the fridge they went until later, giving me some time to contemplate dinner. Just before dinner i took them out, looked around the fridge and saw this one last beautiful pear that I bought a few days ago. The vendor said these pears were a special variety from BC called Harrow Crisp. Whatever the story behind this variety, it was special. Crisp, juicy, sweet and tangy. A perfect pear.
The salad turned out so good and so pretty. I made a little dressing from equal amounts of balsamic vinegar and honey ( my standby dressing for beets) and tossed the roasted beets with this, not too much, just to coat and make them glisten. A little goat cheese, a few candied walnuts (from my freezer), a handful of micro green (I am in love with those) and last, just nicely scattered on top a few pear cubes. You can squeeze a little balsamic crèma on top for garnish. That’s it. Next time I am making it with gorgonzola. I think it would be wonderful. Wow.
1 lb baby beets
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup candied walnuts (purchased or homemade)
A handfull micro greens
Balsamic crèma in a squeeze bottle (purchased)
Rinse the beets but do not peel. Put them on a sheet of foil and cover with a second sheet, folding the ends of the foil sheets together to create a sealed packet. Open a corner and pour in the 1/3 cup water, then re-seal the packet. Place it on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 400℉ oven for about 30 minutes until a knife can be easily inserted into them. When they are done remove from the oven and let cool. You can unseal the packet but be careful as hot steam will escape. You can prepare the beets early in the day or even a day in advance and keep refrigerated.
Prepare the dressing: mix equal amounts of balsamic vinegar and honey in a small dish.
When ready to assemble the salad remove beets from the fridge and toss with a little, not all of the dressing, just enough to coat them.
Place a few beets on individual plates (or use a larger salad plate for serving a few people).
Sprinkle the crumbled cheese over the beets but do not mix it in or the cheese will turn all pink.
Break a few candied walnuts and scatter a handful of micro greens on top.
Cut the pear into cubes and place some on top of each salad. Don’t mix it in as, again, they will turn pink.
Squeeze balsamic crèma over the salad for garnish, with back and forth motion.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Salad is ready, come to the table.