Monday, July 15, 2013

Oven Roasted Beet and Pear Salad with Goat Cheese and Dijon Vinaigrette

Roasting whole fresh beets in the oven is the easiest and most flavorful way to cook this colorful root vegetable. Because the beets are not cooked in water, they retain all of their flavor and especially their deep magenta color. This cooking technique works well with all varieties of beets.

Buy firm fresh medium to large size beets that have their root and stems intact. Make sure they are fresh and free from mold or slimy surface. Wash the beets and scrub off any dirt. Trim stems to about 1 inch away from the beet root. Wrap the beets tightly in aluminum foil and roast in a preheated 375 – 400 degree oven for about 90 minutes. You can test to see if the beets are cooked through by piercing them with a knife.

Let the beets cook in the tightly wrapped foil. Then when they are cook the peel will slip off the beet easily. Then trim the root and stem off and you have perfectly roasted beets.

Watch the surface, clothing…etc. that you are using to prepare these beets as they will stain whatever they touch. Remember the color has not been washed out by cooking in water.


3 to 4 medium fresh beets (stems and root intact) *Note: If the stems and leaves are fresh and in perfect condition they can be sautéed and prepared as a great side dish of greens.
2 Ripe Pears (d’anjou or bartlet) add a little lemon juice to the pears to keep them from turning brown
4 oz. Goat Cheese or Chevre
2oz. Toasted Walnuts
¼ cup Basic Dijon Vinaigrette
Fleur de Sel or Kosher Salt and Freshly Crack Balck Pepper to taste


Slice roasted beets into julienne strips. Slice the pears into julienne the same size and layer both on your salad plate.
Crumble goat cheese over the beet and pear mixture.
Toast the walnuts just until they are fragrant and nutty. Crumble over the top of the salad.
Dress salad with the Dijon Vinaigrette and serve.
Makes 2 dinner servings or 4 side salad servings.

 Served with a cherry tomato salad and roasted Brussels spouts.

Basic Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey (optional)
Kosher salt and ground white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper), to taste

Combine the mustard and vinegar in a glass or stainless steel bowl and whisk them together briefly.
Place the mustard-vinegar mixture along with the oil, honey and seasonings in a blender and mix for about 10 seconds or until fully combined.
Transfer to a glass bowl and let stand for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Give the dressing a good whisk immediately before serving.

Makes 1 cup of dressing.