This winter salad makes great use of beets.Photo Credit : Amy Traverso
This easy roasted beet salad with crispy goat cheese uses just a small number of ingredients to produce a delicious and filling meal. We combine greens and mint leaves in a citrusy dressing and top them with roasted beets and crisp, panko-crusted goat cheese rounds. Thrifty Yankees will love it because it makes excellent use of beets, booth the root and the leaves.
3 large beets with greens attached, preferably more than one color
8 ounces chevre (fresh goat cheese)
5 ounces baby spinach
10 stems fresh mint, leaves removed and thinly sliced crosswise
2 medium or large egg whites, beaten well
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
Preheat your oven to 400º. Rinse the beets well, then remove the leaves, cutting 1/4 inch off the top of each root. Trim the stems from the leaves and set the leaves aside. You can discard the stems.
Wrap the beet roots in foil and roast until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, divide the goat cheese into six equal portions. Form each portion into a 2-inch disk, then set on a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper and set in the freezer to chill for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour.
When the beets are cool enough to handle, rub with paper towels or a dark-colored kitchen towel to remove the skins. Cut beet roots lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half-moon shapes. Set aside.
Take the reserved beet leaves and stack them lengthwise into a pile. Roll into a cylinder and cut crosswise into thin strips. Put these in a bowl with the baby spinach leaves and the sliced mint and toss.
Now make the vinaigrette, and let it sit while you prepare the goat cheese.
Remove goat cheese from freezer. Put egg whites into one shallow bowl and Panko crumbs into another. Dip the goat cheese disks into the egg whites to coat, then coat all over with the Panko.
Pour enough vegetable oil into a skillet to reach a depth of about 1/4 inch. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Working in batches, lay the coated goat cheese disks in the oil, leaving plenty of space between each. They will start to brown almost immediately (if they don’t, raise the heat). After about 30 seconds, flip them to brown the other side. Remove and place on paper towels to drain.
Now compose the salad: Put the orange-vinegar mixture into a jar with the olive oil and shake to blend. Pour over the greens and toss well. Divide the greens among four shallow bowls, then divide the beet slices equally among them. Top each salad with 2 of the goat cheese disks and serve immediately.
Juice of 1 orange
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 medium shallot, minced
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Stir together the orange juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir, then add shallot and stir again.