Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Roasted Beet Salad

I've mentioned before the quality of office "food days" that I've experienced throughout my working lifetime. They've been pretty interesting, to put a positive spin on it, but I've paid my dues in the "food day" world; I've graciously eaten my fair share of mystery meats and smelly things from dented cans whose labels are in languages I can't read. So, as you can imagine, I wasn't too optimistic when told there was an upcoming potluck at my current job. 

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the majority of my co-workers are both relatively sane and extremely good cooks! There were at least 4 crock pots full of stews and chilis, and there were dishes full of homemade enchiladas, ceviche, and a million types of salads - including this one, which I kept going back to for extra helpings.

It turns out my boss brought the beet salad and when I cornered him for the recipe, he confessed that his wife is the one who made it. I promised to turn a blind eye as long as he could deliver the goods. I got it, and now I'm sharing. You are welcome.

Oh, what? You want to know what I contributed to the feast? Well, I'm embarrassed to admit that all I brought was a vegetable platter. It was "homemade", though, I cut all the vegetables into bite size pieces myself...OK, lame, I know, but I didn't have a lot of advance notice. At least I didn't bring anything with a shelf life of infinity, or who's origin could be deemed "unknown", so I don't feel too ashamed. Everyone needs vegetables.

Roasted Beet Salad

The part of this salad that I obsess about is the dressing; it takes a lot of willpower to not drink it straight from the blender (Ok, I wouldn't do that, that's gross, but you'll see what I mean when you make it and you then lick the spoon that you used to scrape the dressing from the blender. You'll see.)

Roast beets:
Remove all but an inch of the greens from fresh beets. Wash thoroughly and individually wrap in aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 45 to 90 minutes, or until the beets are easily pierced with a knife. Cool, peel, and chop.

1 tbsp chopped shallots
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
salt & pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a blender.
Toss lettuce or greens of your choice with 1/2 of dressing.
Toss beets with remaining dressing.
Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.
Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts (optional).

Eat and sigh.

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