first up, this beet and arugula salad is a light, yet filling meal or a great side to a summer grilled main course. even if you haven't been a fan of beets in the past, try cooking your own and you may just change your mind yet!
first wash, scrub, and peel your beets so they go from this:
boil them submerged in water until cooked, and then let them cool:
next, glaze your walnuts so they have time to cool
start by toasting the walnuts in a skillet, add maple syrup and that's it!
start with fresh arugula. rinse, chop, and dry.
if you use wild arugula it will taste peppery. for this salad i prefer a milder green so i chose regular arugula.
mix all of the arugula, half of the walnuts and sliced beets, and half of the goat cheese [crumbled] with the vinaigrette [recipe below].
based on: Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Recipe from allrecipes.com
beet and arugula salad with goat cheese and maple-glazed walnuts
1 small bunch of raw beets [or 2 large raw beets]
1/2 bunch of arugula [not wild/rocket arugula]
2 oz soft goat cheese
1 cup walnut halves
2 tbsp maple syrup
for the vinaigrette:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
1 tbsp orange juice
zest from 1/2 orange [optional]
salt and pepper to taste
1. peel the raw beets, cut into halves or quarters, and put in a medium saucepan big enough to fully cover the beets with water. pour enough water over the beets to cover, and bring to a boil. once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer [medium low on my stove] and cook the beets until they can be pierced easily with a fork, about 20-25 minutes. once cooked, strain the beets and let them cool.
2. place the walnuts in a non-stick skillet with enough room that they fit in a single layer. toast the walnuts over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the pan gets hot and the walnuts start to toast. pour in 2 tbsp maple syrup and stir the walnuts to coat them evenly. as you are stirring, you will notice the syrup thicken and stick to the nuts after about 2-3 minutes. once most of the syrup has coated the walnuts and it is no longer pooling in the pan, remove the pan from the heat. spread the walnuts out in the pan and let cool.
3. while the beets and walnuts cool, roughly chop, rinse and dry the arugula leaves. if your arugula came bundled, cut off an inch or so of the end to remove most of the stems. put your rinsed and dried arugula in a bowl and set aside.
4. to make the dressing, thoroughly whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl until combined.
5. slice the beets into wedges, thin slices, or cubes and add half to the chopped arugula. crumble half of the goat cheese into this bowl, and add half of the cooled glazed walnuts. pour the vinaigrette over the contents of the bowl and mix to coat everything evenly. dish the salad into 4 bowls and top with the remaining beets, glazed walnuts, and goat cheese. enjoy!