Roasted Beet Salad With Walnut Vinaigrette

(adapted from Bouchon)


One small bunch of Chioggia beets
One small bunch of golden beets
Sunflower or canola oil
Salt and pepper
About 1/4 cup of pine nuts
About 1/2 cup of walnuts (halves and pieces, or chopped)
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon champagne vinegar
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh squeezed is recommended)
1/4 cup walnut oil
Small log of goat cheese
3.5 ounce package of Mache
About 1/4 cup of dried cherries


Start by roasting the beets, as this is the most time-consuming step. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tops and bottoms off all of the beets, and scrub them gently under running water. Set out two pieces of foil -- each large enough to hold one type of beet -- on a sheet pan. Place the Chioggia beets on one piece of foil, and place the golden beets on the other. Drizzle all of the beets with the sunflower or canola oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Close up the foil packets and transfer the beets to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes or until you can push the tip of a knife through the beets with ease. Set aside to cool enough to handle.

While the beets are roasting, set out two more pieces of foil on another sheet pan. Place the pine nuts on one piece of foil and the walnuts on the other. Tuck these in the oven on the rack below the beets to toast. The pine nuts will likely be done after 10 minutes and the walnuts after 15 or 20 minutes. You can lift the pine nuts, foil and all, right off the sheet pan and put them on a rack to cool. Leave the walnuts in until they are well toasted, and then transfer them to a rack to cool too.

While toasting and roasting, make your salad dressing. Whisk the mustard, champagne vinegar, and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the walnut oil, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. (I like to dip a leaf of whatever green I'm having into the dressing to test the flavor. It's much more effective than just dipping your finger in and tasting the dressing on its own.) Set the dressing aside.

Place the log of goat cheese on the counter, so it will come to room temperature or close by the time you use it.

By now your beets are cool enough to handle, or you're playing the waiting game. When your beets are cool enough to handle, rub them with paper towels to remove the skin (a trick I learned from Ad Hoc at Home -- it keeps your hands cleaner and simplifies the whole process). Cut the beets in quarters or dice them depending on how big they are and what size chunks you want in your salad.

Assemble your salad. Place a handful of Mache on a large dinner plate. Drizzle with dressing, and toss until the rosettes are evenly coated. Top with some of the roasted beets. Sprinkle some toasted walnuts, toasted pine nuts, and cherries on top. Lastly, decorate the salad with some dollops of goat cheese, and drizzle with more dressing, if desired.
Dig in!

-Delicious Dishings