A funny thing happens to me (and I suspect many others) as summer rolls around. As much as I love to cook, when the weather gets hot and the days get long, that love kind of fades and turns tepid, and all of a sudden, I’ve just lost the urge. Now don’t get me wrong, I still think about food all the time. During the day I dream up recipes, delude myself with notions of elaborate meals that I will somehow have the energy to prepare when I get home, and convince myself that yes, this cooking thing is really going to happen. But day after day six o’clock rolls around and guess what? I just don’t feel like it. Sound familiar?
I’ve got a solution… for now, at least. Make this salad. It’s simple, but special enough to make you feel like you’ve done something nice for yourself. It’s also incredibly healthy. Beets are a nutritional goldmine- they’re loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C, and surprisingly, are higher in iron than spinach. Take that Popeye! They’re also naturally sweet, which means that you’ll be less likely to be craving something sugary for dessert later.
Now, as a pair, beets and goat cheese are nothing new. Why? Because they work perfectly together. The tangy creaminess of the goat cheese is the perfect complement to the beets’ deep earthy sweetness. And when you toss everything together, the juice from the beets mixes with some of the goat cheese to create a built-in dressing. It couldn’t be simpler.
To make this salad even simpler to throw together, you can roast the beets the night before. I like to throw them in the oven after dinner and pull them out before I go to bed. That way, they practically make themselves!
Spring Greens with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil (for drizzling)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 -3 big handfuls salad greens, well washed and dried
2-3 ounces of chevre, or other goat cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Start by making the beets (as I mentioned, I would highly suggest doing this the night before). Preheat the oven to 400 (F). Place the beets in a cast iron skillet (or even an oven-safe pot). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake, covered loosely with alumninum foil, for 60-90 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before peeling (you should be able to remove the skin easily with your fingers). Chop into 1/2 inch cubes.
For the salad: In a bowl, combine the greens and the beets. Crumble the goat cheese over the top. At this point, you could really add any dressing, but I just like a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze or two of lemon, and some salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss and serve.