Friday, June 4, 2010

Salt Roasted Beets in a Raspberry Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

I have to eat lunch at my desk on a daily basis and since that is not the two martini lunch that I would like and that seems to be commonplace in the magical world of Mad Men, the least I can do is make it interesting and tasty. A pointer on bringing your lunch to work everyday, plan ahead so you are not a mad person trying to assemble everything in the morning while trying to get kids and dogs out the door.

There is a running joke in my office that I am down on the cafeteria in my office building. For the record, I was in a ravenous state one time and went to said cafeteria to order an omelet and I swear I could have broken a window with that hardened yellow brick they gave to me that they claimed was an omelet. They also screwed up an order of grilled cheese. Grilled cheese? Seriously? If you can't make grilled cheese, I'm out.

So, everyday I have to bring my lunch because the cafeteria is bad and quite frankly, I'm cheap and get nauseous at the thought of forking over $7.00 on a daily basis for food that tastes questionable at best. Enter the salad in all of the many glorious forms it can possibly come in. All of my salads have a common theme; goat cheese, walnuts and salad greens of some sort. When I found the recipe for salt roasted beets on Alexandra's Kitchen and she put it with, what else, goat cheese and walnuts, I knew it would be delicious. It was everything I thought it would be and more. In fact, the beets alone were so delicious that the first time I made them, they never made it into the salad. I added some raspberries to the salad and it was a wonderful combination.

I will try and post more lunch options because I know it is a struggle to come up with something worth eating every single day. Until then, enjoy the salad! AJ

Recipe adapted from Alexandra's Kitchen

Roasted Beets:

beets, washed, greens removed
kosher salt
a few sprigs thyme and rosemary, optional


3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 T. fig or regular balsamic
zest of an orange
1 small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


goat cheese
walnuts, toasted
greens, optional


1.) Roast the beets. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Pour kosher salt into a shallow roasting vessel to make a thin layer. (See photo to help estimate how much.) Place beets on salt bed. If using herbs, nestle a few sprigs among the beets. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in oven for about one hour, depending on how many and how big your beets are. Note: To test for doneness, remove foil and slip a pairing knife into one of the beets. If the knife meets little resistance, they are done. When beets are done, remove foil covering and let them cool. When cool enough to handle, rub off the skins and discard. Cut beets into nice chunks.

2.) Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat and reduce to 1/3 cup. Let cool. Add vinegar, zest, shallots, chives and a pinch of salt. Let sit for 15 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

3.) To assemble salad, arrange greens on a platter. Top with goat cheese, walnuts, raspberries and cut beets. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Spoon dressing over salad.

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