Roasted Beet, Asparagus, & Cremini Mushroom Salad with Toasted Walnuts & Crumbled Goat Cheese

Although I’m not crazy about salads, generally preferring rich, warm, hearty meals for dinner, I sometimes crave a fresh tasting, healthy meal.  Having hated beets as a child, I have certainly grown into their earthy sweetness.  I was craving a dish that featured beets as the star…

I had some goat cheese laying around that was in need of being used, and the sharp, slightly sour, creaminess of the cheese is such a nice companion for beets.  I washed and wrapped a couple of beets in tin foil before roasting them in a 400 degree oven.  Because beets vary in size, their cooking time also varies.  I always suggest that the best way to know if something is ready/cooked through is to touch and taste it (whether you’re talking about vegetables or meats or starches).  In the case of roasting beets, you’re looking for them to be somewhat soft to the touch, with the skin peeling off easily.  This can take longer than you might expect (for me it took almost an hour and a half!).

I decided to add asparagus and mushrooms both for their strong, earthy flavours and for their colourful appearance next to the bright purple beets.  Once the beets were finished roasting, I upped the oven temperature to 425 degrees.  I lay out the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzled the spears in olive oil and seasoned with kosher salt and pepper.  I did the same with the mushrooms, but on a different baking sheet.  I put them both in the oven and roasted them for 15-20 minutes, or until the asparagus was slightly aldente, and the mushrooms were soft and juicy.

Toasted walnuts were a perfect addition.  I simply coated them in olive oil, seasoned with salt, and roasted in the oven on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, checking and tossing constantly, until they were browned on all sides.

Once the veg had cooled, and I’d peeled the beets, I chopped everything and started building my salad.  I had so much fun photographing this meal because of the wonderful colours.

I didn’t have any basil at the time, but if I had, I would have made a nice Basil Oil with olive oil and salt & pepper.  Instead, I just used a simple balsamic vinaigrette that I made with equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar, some chopped rosemary, and a touch of dijon and salt & pepper.

Published in: on November 10, 2010 at 3:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Incroyable! Wonderful post. Merci!

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