I’ve never had a roasted vegetable I didn’t love. Roger and I enjoy roasting broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, summer squash and brussels sprouts to name a few—all of which are enhanced by roasting red onions along with them. For some reason, I hadn’t gotten around to roasting beets—but that all changed when my daughter Sara brought some along with her on a trip home from Madison earlier this summer.
Sara’s undergraduate university town–Madison, Wisconsin–is home to the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. All the items sold at the Dane County Farmers’ Market are produced in Wisconsin by the vendors (approx. 300 of them) behind the tables. Before she graduated, one of their best customers was Sara!
Once Roger and I had a taste of the roasted beets she had made, we were hooked. We’ve been roasting beets all summer; and, as soon as we’re out of the latest batch, beets go on the shopping list. My favorite way to eat them is in a salad with goat cheese, roasted nuts, and a raspberry vinaigrette. It’s just a pretty simple combo that I threw together. The flavor of the roasted beets along with the creaminess of the goat cheese and the crunch of the pecans make for an outstanding salad. Other than the specifics for roasting the beets and the vinaigrette, the salad quantities and optional add-ins are totally up to your personal preference. I’ve just given some general guidelines–do your own thing!
Roasted Beet Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Ingredients for the Salad
- A mesclun mix – I love any combo of baby spinach, arugula, romaine, red leaf lettuce, and Boston lettuce
- Green onions
- Seedless English cucumbers
- Roasted beets
- Roasted or candied pecans
- Goat cheese
Ingredients for Raspberry Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tbl. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbl. seedless raspberry jam
- 1 tbl. chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
Directions for Raspberry Vinaigrette
Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and process to blend and emulsify. If you prefer, you can vigorously whisk ingredients. You need to make sure that you break up the globs of raspberry jam so that it is well distributed throughout the vinaigrette.
Directions for Roasting Beets
Preheat oven to 425o F. Wash and peel beets. Slice them in 1/4” rounds. Spray or coat them with olive oil. Place on cookie sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for 10 minutes; then turn beets over and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until tender.
Place lettuce combo of your choice on plates. Distribute several slices of the roasted beets over the lettuce. Add 1 to 2 ounces of goat cheese. Sprinkle with roasted or candied pecans. Drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette.
Optional add-ons are green onions, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, radishes, etc. Let your imagination and personal preferences be your guide.