I LOVE roasted beets - sweet and rich and beautiful, like healthy edible jewels! One of my favorite ways to serve them is in a salad with watercress and fresh mozzarella. But I have made that so many times that I wanted to try something a little different. This version uses goat cheese, a slightly more complex dressing, and a different method of roasting.
Usually I just wrap the beets in foil and roast them. This method involves first placing the beets on a bed of salt and herbs. It imparts just a little bit more flavor to the beets.
This is what the beets will look like after about an hour of roasting.
When they are cool enough to handle, peel and chop the beets.
Place on top of a bed of watercress and top with the dressing and goat cheese. You don't want to toss everything together first because the color from the beets will run all over the place and turn into a muddled mess. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy a hearty and delicious salad!
Salt Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
adapted from Alexandra Cooks
serves however many you wish
beets, washed, greens removed
a few sprigs thyme and rosemary
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp rice or champagne vinegar
zest of an orange
1 small shallot, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
goat cheese, crumbled
walnuts, toasted (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Pour kosher salt into a shallow roasting vessel to make a thin layer. (See photo to help estimate how much.) Place beets on salt bed. Nestle a few herb sprigs among the beets. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in oven for about one hour, depending on how many and how big your beets are. When beets are very tender, remove foil covering and let them cool. When cool enough to handle, rub off the skins (or scrape using the back or a paring knife) and discard. Cut beets into nice chunks.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat and reduce to 1/3 cup. Let cool. Add vinegar, zest, shallots, chives and a pinch of salt. Let sit for 15 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
To assemble salad, arrange greens on a platter. Top with beets, goat cheese, and walnuts (if using). Season with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Spoon dressing over salad.