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Jan 14, 2014

A Beet Salad That Will Change How You Feel About Beets

One of my New Year's resolutions is to eat more healthfully. Not necessarily to eat less, but to eat better: more fresh fruits and veggies, more whole grains, less processed stuff. One of my favorite healthy dishes to eat is roasted beet salad.

Beets are a pretty contentious vegetable, and in my opinion unfairly maligned. When I was a kid, I did not like beets at all. The only beets I ever encountered were pickled beets straight out of a can, which to be honest, are still not my favorite. I went on thinking for many years that I didn't like beets, until I had this salad. The magical combination of beets, goat cheese, red onion and walnuts completely blew my mind and made me a proud beet lover. It's that good.

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

4 large or 8 medium beets, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, washed and trimmed, with about 1 inch of their tops on
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beets in foil and place them on a baking sheet. Cook, undisturbed, for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, until a knife pierces one with little resistance (they may cook at different rates, remove each one when it is done). Let beets cool until they are easy to handle.

Use a paper towel to wipe the peel off of the surface of the beets, then chop into 3/4 inch pieces, discarding the tops. Place them in a bowl and add chopped onion, walnuts, and parsley.

Make a vinaigrette with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper by whisking or shaking together in a jar. 

When ready to serve, pour vinaigrette over the beets and sprinkle with goat cheese. Toss gently. If you add the goat cheese too early, it will turn red.

The most time consuming part of this salad is roasting the beets, but you don't necessarily have to roast them on the same day that you eat them. I actually roasted mine the day before. Once the beets have cooled you can store them, still wrapped in foil, in your refrigerator for a few days until you are ready to have your world rocked by this salad. 

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