Monday, November 25, 2013

Beet, Pecan & Feta Salad

It's a good sign that neither of us had any complaints about eating this salad for three days in a row.  I love how variable it is! I preferred the glazed pecans but by the last day, I ran out so I just used raw ones.  I usually don't have pecans on hand so I'll probably end up using walnuts next time.  We used feta one day and goat cheese the next, so pick whichever you prefer or have on hand. (I LOVE goat cheese but I think I liked feta a little better in this!)

I roasted the beets the day before (when I happened to have the oven on anyway).  The directions below recommend a 425 degree oven but this is flexible - use 400 or 450 if you're already using the oven for something else.  A word of warning: beets stain easily so I always wash my hands and clean up any spills right away!

This apple cider vinaigrette has become a new favorite salad dressing for me.  I was on a balsamic kick for a while but this is a nice change up.  I like to make a double or triple batch and then store it in the fridge for a week's worth of salads.

It'll be just the three of us for Thanksgiving this year so I'm doing all of it (and I've been looking forward to that for weeks!).  Our menu includes turkey breast, homemade gravy, mashed potatoes (I'm torn between doing garlic mashed potatoes or these gorgonzola ones), stuffing (it's my first time making it!), cranberry relish, and roasted carrots with thyme and goat cheese.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Beet, Pecan & Feta Salad
Serves 4
Roasted beet instructions taken from: The Kitchn
  • mixed greens (we like a combination of mixed greens and romaine)
  • 2-3 beets
  • 1/2 cup pecans (walnuts could also be used as a substitute)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (add more or less to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • salt and pepper

  1. To roast the beets (can be made ahead of time): Preheat the oven to 425 (this is a flexible cooking temperature). Slice off the beet leaves close to the tip of the beet, leaving yourself enough to grip. Save the beet greens for another purpose. Scrub the beets thoroughly, then wrap them completely in foil. No need to dry the beets before wrapping. 
  2. Transfer the wrapped beets to the oven (you can put them on a baking sheet to catch drips in case the beet juices leak). Roast for 50-60 minutes. Check the beets every 20 minutes or so. Beets are done when a fork or skewer slides easily to the middle of the beet. Small beets will cook more quickly than large beets. 
  3. Let the beets cool enough to handle. Hold one of the beets in a paper towel and use the edges of the paper to rub the skin away. The skin should peel away easily; if it doesn't, the beets likely need to cook for a little longer. Peel the remaining beets. Beets can be stored whole or sliced for up to a week in the refrigerator.
  4. To glaze the pecans or walnuts (can be made ahead of time):  Heat a nonstick skillet to medium heat. Add butter and melt.  Add brown sugar, then pecans and stir to mix.  Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes.  Move to a separate plate or container to cool (can be stored for up to a week).
  5. To make the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar and honey.  Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. (I like to put all the ingredients in a jar, seal the lid and shake to combine all the ingredients.)  Add more vinegar, honey and/or olive oil if necessary, to taste.
  6. To serve, top the mixed greens with chopped beets, glazed pecans and feta cheese.  Drizzle on vinaigrette.


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