I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago when I was feeling inspired to experiment with some delicious goat cheese left over from a previous meal. You can prepare the beets, oranges, and dressing ahead of time then just assemble when ready to eat.
Beet, Orange, & Goat Cheese Salad (Makes Approx. 4 Large Salads)
3-4 Fresh Beets
1 Medium Shallot
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
Baby Mixed Greens (I used a mix of baby spinach, butter, and romaine)
Goat Cheese (choose a fresh, bright tasting cheese to complement the citrus)
Salt & Pepper
Chopped Walnuts to Garnish
You can assemble and prepare the dressing, oranges and beets a day ahead of time. To start, roast the beets. Wash the beets thoroughly and cut off the top stems and bottom root. They should be flat on both sides. Rub them with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them in enough foil to be able to seal at the top and sides. Roast at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Once they have cooled, remove the skin and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper. Allow them to marinate overnight for the best flavor. Peel the oranges and separate into groups of 2 sections. Cut each group into slices and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to assemble the salad.
To make the dressing: Mince the shallot and combine with 1/4 cup orange juice, the orange zest, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, and some salt and pepper (to taste). Whisk together until well combined then continue whisking while slowly adding the 1/4 cup olive oil. You will need to re-whisk the dressing before using.
To assemble the salad: Wash and dry the mixed greens thoroughly. In a large bowl, place the greens and a few spoonfuls of the dressing and toss. Divide the greens between the 4 plates and add the beets, oranges, and goat cheese. To finish, spoon a few spoonfuls of dressing on each salad and top with the chopped walnuts.
A note on the goat cheese: The fist time that I made the salad I used Selles sur Cher which is an ash covered, fresh, tangy, and crumbly cheese. The second time I made it I used Valencay which is also ash covered with a fresh and tangy flavor but had a slightly more dense texture which I think worked even better than the Selles sur Cher in the salad. I found both cheeses at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, MA and I’m sure that at any artisan cheese shop they would be able to recommend a goat cheese with a similar profile to work in the salad.