Beet, Goat Cheese & Candied Pecan Salad

The CSA has officially taken over my fridge. Every week, I get a new mix of veggies that I’m challenged to cook and finish through the week. On weeks that I’m dining out more than cooking (such as this past week), I have a really hard time finishing everything before I get the next batch. Of all the veggies that I got a few weeks ago, my rainbow swiss chard was the first to be consumed. A quick sautรฉ is all it takes before I can incorporate it into a meal.

Then, there are some veggies that I tend to neglect. The one that was staring me in the face was the beets. Although beets sometimes has a reputation for being your grandpa’s favorite food since it’s usually so mushy when it’s finally prepared, it’s definitely made quite a combat in fine dining. Two preparations that come to mind is the amazing way that Atera charred the beet so it was black on the outside and juicy and almost bloody on the inside. Reminiscent of an awesome piece of seared steak. Blue Hill at Stone Barns also took the meat approach when making their beets – they turned it into mini beet sliders.

But let’s be honest here. I’m a beet-cooking noob, so I took the simplest approach in my preparation – I just boiled the suckers in water and a bit of vinegar because that’s what the internet told me to do. It’s supposed to prevent the beets from bleeding into the water – but it didn’t work for me. The beets bled anyways but no one was hurt, so we were fine.

After boiling for about 45 minutes, the beets were fork tender, and I peeled off the skin with a spoon and it was ready for me to put into this lovely salad. I had no clue that 3 beets would be so much, I must have had this simple beet & goat cheese salad 5-6 times over the course of a week and a half before I was able to finish it all. That was fine by me since this goat cheese, beets and candied pecans went so well together. And since I made these beets by myself they had more of a bite to them unlike the more mushy beets I usually buy or order at a restaurant. Gotta love the CSA for pushing me to try making new things!

On nights that I wanted a quick meal, I quickly dressed this with balsamic vinegar. However, on a night when I was being fancccy and cooking for a friend, I reduced the balsamic vinegar in a pan to drizzle it over my salad.

Beet, Goat Cheese & Candied Pecan Salad

ยฝ medium beet, cooked & cut into forkable pieces
1 oz goat cheese
1 handful of candied pecans
2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 cups of lettuce
balsamic vinegar to lightly dress salad
good quality olive oil
fresh ground black pepper

1. Reduce balsamic vinegar (optional). Depending on how fancy you’re feeling (or how many pots you want to wash), reduce ยฝ cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the liquid evaporates to about half of what it was, turn off heat. The longer the vinegar sits, the thicker it becomes for you to use to dress your salad.

2. Add everything in bowl. Layer your salad with lettuce, beets, goat cheese and dress with either reduced balsamic vinegar or just balsamic vinegar. Drizzle some olive oil over that. Top with candied pecans and a crack of ground pepper if you choose. 

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