Thursday, March 15, 2012

Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches and Roasted Beet Salad

I invited two other moms in our building over for lunch several weeks ago and served Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey from my Cooking Light Cookbook (I'm trying to give this cookbook a chance), and with a lovely little salad on the side. The sandwiches were really good following the recipe exactly, and below is the recipe for the salad. Enjoy!

Roasted Beet Salad with Lemon Basil Balsamic Dressing
Serves 4 (with leftover dressing)

I would strongly recommend using a nice aged balsamic vinegar is possible, it makes a big difference. You could also add some goat cheese to this salad, or sliced almonds and shaved parmesan would be nice. I prefer to serve this salad with warm beets, but the beets could certainly be roasted in advance and served at room temperature, or even cold.

For Salad
3-4 beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb salad greens of your choice (I used a lovely spring mix from our farmers' market, mescalin greens would also be lovely), washed and dried
1/4 cup (generous handful) of basil leaves

For Dressing
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 Tbsp brown or honey (or more to taste if you prefer a sweeter dressing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (basil flavored, if possible)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup water
2-3 Tbsp minced basil (optional, use if you don't have access to basil-scented olive oil)

Heat the oven to 425F. Toss the beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread beets in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (two if needed). Bake for 40-50 minutes, tossing beets halfway through. The beets should be tender, sizzling, and starting to brown.

Mix the dressing ingredients together, adjusting the sugar or honey as needed to your taste.

Split the greens between four plates and top with basil leaves and roasted beets. Serve with dressing alongside.