As I sit here writing this entry, I am huddled up on the coach with a blanket across my lap and sipping on a warm mug of my favorite tea (Harvey Nichols’ Black Vanilla). It’s at this point I realize that it’s over. No matter how much I protest, it’s still over.
So despite my Don Quixote-esque pledge to never give up on yummy Ode to Summer Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie recipe, I’m now calling in the troops. I’m waving the white flag. For heaven’s sakes, last weekend I wore a corduroy blazer to dinner.
Evidently, this process of Autumn acceptance is an annual rite of passage for me. I remember going through the exact same thing last year when I posted this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Granola Bars.
But here’s the good news. With autumn comes autumn produce. At the top of my list this year are beets.
Since having it a few weeks back at one of my favorite restaurants, I’ve been obsessed with finding the perfect beet salad. I can’t seem to get it out of my head. I’ve made Beet, Avocado & Roasted Chicken…I loved it. Then I conjured up a Beet, Avocado and Salmon Salad….that was a disaster. I’m not even sure what I was thinking…I mean, like Lady Gaga’s meat dress, some ideas just don’t need to be acted upon. Seriously, what was she thinking?
Back to the salad…last week, I stumbled onto a version that I really liked. As a matter of fact I liked it so much that I couldn’t wait to share the recipe with you.
As dishes go this recipe for Roasted Beet & Avocado Salad with Goat Cheese and Danelion Greens has a full range of flavors: sweet and earthy beets; creamy freshness of the avocados; peppery spice of the dandelion greens, hint of bite and salty brine from the goat cheese and the tangy flavor of the balsamic dressing kind of hangs out in the background, adding a little spike of flavor to each bite.
This is one of those “recipes” that’s less about following exact measurements and more about building a dish flavor by flavor until it suits your tastes. Love your salads sweet? Then pump up the amount of beets. Prefer to have a little bit of bite and peppery flavor? Dial up the amount of dandelion greens. Can’t live without avocados…. Well, you get the point. It’s a very forgiving and beautiful combination of ingredients.
One thing. Dandelion greens can be a little tough (and you would be too if everyone despised you so much that they constantly sprayed you in the face with chemical herbicides…Can you imagine? That would suck.) But if you let the salad sit for a bit, the acid in the vinegar should help to breakdown the greens.
And if you can’t find or just hate dandelion greens, no worries, I think the salad is still uber-delicious without them or better yet, toss in some spicy arugula).
Roasted Beet & Avocado Salad with Goat Cheese & Dandelion Greens
- 4 medium sized red beets
- 3 TBL balsamic vinegar
- 2 TBL extra virgin olive oil
- 1 TBL granulated sugar
- 1/8 TSP kosher salt
- 1/8 TSP freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dandelion greens, shredded
- 2 ripe avocados
- Goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Trim beet roots of their stems and scrub under warm water to remove any soil. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and roast them in oven for 1 hour or until beets are cooked (when a knife easily pierces through the center of the largest beet).
- When beets are done, unwrap and submerge them in ice water until they are completely cooled.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper until the mixture has emulsified.
- Halve the avocado, remove pit, criss-cross cut the avocado’s flesh (see above photos) and scoop out flesh into a large bowl.
- Once beets have cooled, peel and gently cut them lengthwise into ¼” discs. Cut the discs into ¼” batons. Add the beets and shredded dandelion green to the large bowl with the avocados.
- Pour balsamic vinegar over beet-avocado mixture, and gently toss salad being careful not to break the beet batons. Let salad sit in refrigerator for up to an hour (allowing time for the vinegar to breakdown and tenderize the dandelion greens).
- Put salad in a serving bowl.
- Dot the salad with pats of goat cheese.
- Serves 4.