Monday, April 18, 2011

Roasted Beet Salad with Croutons and Blue Cheese

My friend Ingrid has been on a beet craze since making my borscht risotto, so when I had her over for dinner a couple of weeks ago I made this roasted beet salad just for her! This is a great salad that is full of contrasting flavors, textures, and temperatures. The sweet, warm, soft beets paired with the bitter, cold, crunchy greens and tangy, rich blue cheese makes every bite of this dish a joy to eat!

Here's what you will need:

  • 2 cups bread, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Homemade croutons are crunchy, salty, and yet still doughy on the inside - much better than the stale, tasteless ones from the store. Here is a quick recipe to use up your about-to-be-old bread. Place the diced bread on a baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil, and add the salt and pepper. Use clean hands to toss and coat with the seasoning. Place the baking sheet into a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until the croutons are lightly golden. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow them to cool on the counter. Once cool set them aside in a bowl or on a plate until later.

Roasted Beets:
  • 1 pound beets
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Peel the beets using a vegetable peeler and dice them into 1/2 inch cubes. Place the diced beets onto a baking sheet, drizzle them with the olive oil, and season them with the salt and pepper. Use your hands to coat the beets evenly, and then try to lay them flat on the baking sheet. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
Add the above ingredients to a small bowl and use a fork to whisk everything together, or use a mason jar and shake vigorously.

  • 1 head endive lettuce, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • roasted beets
  • croutons
  • vinaigrette
I like to use endive lettuce - it's got a bite to it, it's very crispy, and the leafy tendirils are very curly, which gives extra texture. If you can' t find endive lettuce feel free to use arugula. Place the roasted beets, cheese, and croutons on top of the salad. When ready to serve, drizzle with the salad dressing and toss. I hope you enjoy this healthy, delicious salad!

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