Winter Roasted Beet Salad
For the salad
- About 6 medium size red or gold beets (or a mixture of both)
- 1 – 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 – 1 cup good quality crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (Rogue Creamery and Salemville have nice mid-range rice options that are quite delicious)
- 1/2 cup chopped candied walnuts (found in most markets, especially during the holidays. However, I’ve given a quick recipe below)
- Good quality Balsamic Vinegar (this is the time to break out the good stuff)
- Good quality California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil, about 1/4 cup
For the candied nuts
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- Pinch of salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Wash the beets and trim just a bit. Place in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap, tenting it a little. Roast for about 45 minutes or until the beets can be pierced with a fork or knife. I like my beets slightly undercooked, otherwise the texture tends to be a bit mushy. So check them at 35 – 40 minutes. Let the beets cool and then peel off the skins. This is a colorful and messy job but well worth the effort. If you are roasting the beets in advance, place the roasted whole beets in a Ziploc bag and pop them in the frig until they are ready to use.
- Place the thinly sliced shallots in a small bowl and toss with a drizzle or two of balsamic vinegar. I love the shallots marinated in the balsamic vinegar. Cuts the harshness of the shallot and adds extra balsamic flavor to the salad. Let the sliced shallots hang out in the vinegar while you prepare the salad.
- Slice the beets, not too thick, and layer them on a platter. Dust lightly with a little sea salt.
- Next, toss the marinated shallots over the beets. Then sprinkle the beets and shallots with Gorgonzola and garnish with the chopped candied walnuts. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.
- Quick Candied Nuts: In a heavy bottom pan over medium heat add the sugar. Let the sugar melt. Once melted, sprinkle the chopped nuts into the sugar and give it a stir. Once the nuts look well coated pour them out onto wax paper to cool. Sprinkle lightly with a pinch of salt. Break with a knife or by hand.