As of late, M and I have been under deadline for a few items. I love working for myself but often it means juggling five different projects that occasionally all have the same Friday deadline. It keeps me busy but I’m not always the best about eating. For dinner the other night I had goat cheese smeared on bread with grapes and honey. Not a bad meal, but that’s been the norm- quick/simple. (But don’t be fooled, pizza totally happened at least twice in the past week). Eventually after the random eating spree, I need a big salad.
I mentioned last week that I love salads in the fall- when all the earthy goodness comes together in a giant bowl. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and beets- all made to pair perfectly with salad. If you look in my archives, at least half my salads contain one of the three items listed above. Particular favorites:
- Roasted Sweet Potato, Spinach and Grain Salad
- Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad with Soft Boiled Eggs
- Roasted Golden Beet and Millet Salad
- Roasted Beet, Blue Cheese Orzo, and Walnut Salad
- Honey-Roasted Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Salad
- Fall Cornbread Panzanella Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette
- 1 1/2 pounds medium beets
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 whole lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 ripe, but firm, avocados, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups lightly packed baby arugula
- 4 ounces semi-firm aged goat cheese, shaved (1 cup)*
- Preheat oven to 375˚. In a roasting pan, toss beets with olive oil and sea salt. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven. Roast for around one hour- until beets are tender. Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle beets. Peel the beets and cut into wedges.
- While beets are roasting, place the pine nuts in a pie plate and bake for 6-7 minutes, until toasted. Remove and let cool.
- To make the dressing, peel the lemon with a sharp knife, making sure to remove the pith. Cut the lemon into small pieces. In a bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup olive oil with lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add chopped lemons.
- Toss together the avocado pieces and arugula with half the dressing and transfer to the serving dish. Add beets and remaining to the bowl, toss, and add beets to the top of the salad. Top with toasted pine nuts and shaved cheese.
* I used a shaved Manchego