Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

30 Aug

Let me put a disclaimer on this post. I have always disliked beets. When I was a kid my Grandma would make me eat the nasty pickled ones that come out of a can. Yuck. When I was 15 and was working at a buffet restaurant in town we had jars and jars of the pickled beets that would stain everything. We had to wear khaki pants and I would go home at the end of the night looking like someone had tried to cut my leg open because of these beets. They smelled worse than  anything. I had made an oath to never, ever let anyone make me eat beets in my adult life. I would rather eat creamed corn.

I have some dear friends in Minnesota who have been trying to convince me for months to try beets that aren’t pickled. I have been tempted to buy beets many a time at the grocery store and just cook them and eat them to prove to myself that I can eat a beet. I feel like Julie on Julie & Julia who is afraid to eat an egg. Last night I finally did it. I made a beet salad. And do you want to know my only regret? Not buying enough beets! I only bought 3 in the event I thought I wouldn’t like them. Now I am thinking of what I can make with beets next. This proves to me the age old saying is true – never say never.

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad
[Recipe addapted from Fine Cooking Fresh Magazine]

For this recipe you will need-

  • 8 to 10 medium sized beets
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. aged balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans [I used raw pecans but you could also use roasted pecans, or even walnuts]

If the beets have leaves and stems, trim off the leaves and all but 1/4 inch of the stems. Wash the beets. In a large saucepan or stockpot fit with a steamer basket, steam the beets until a paring knife enters them easily, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on their size. Set aside until cool enough to handle but still warm.

Peel the beets; the skin will rub right off, cut the beets into thick wedges. Transfer the beets to a large serving bowl and drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the goat cheese, oregano, and pecans over the beets and serve.

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