The late comic John Pinette once claimed that “salad isn’t food…..it was a promissory note that food will soon arrive”.
I can picture the type of salad John Pinette is referring to in his comment above. Pieces of green lettuce limply arranged on a plate with cucumber pieces and a couple slices of tomato strewn about. The whole thing covered in one of your typical creamy salad dressings.
The thing is salad doesn’t have to be boring, with a little imagination a salad can actually be a thing of beauty and taste good at the same time. For example I give you the “Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad”.
This is a super easy salad to make and the hardest part about it will be roasting the beets but even that is actually pretty easy. One quick note however about working with beets, I recommend you wear gloves. While they taste really good they tend to stain everything they come in contact with. Also don’t be afraid to substitute golden beets for red. The golden beets tend to be a bit sweeter but will also go very well with this salad.
An easy way to peel beets is once they have cooled from the oven grab a piece of paper towel and “scrub” the beets. The texture of the paper towel will cause the skin of the beet to peel right off. Again I recommend wearing gloves while you do this.
To start you’ll need a bunch of arugula as your base. If you can’t find arugula or you don’t happen to like it you can substitute any lettuce you like. I like to use arugula in this recipe because it has a slight peppery taste and works well with the beets. Dress the arugula with some lemon juice just to provide a small measure of acidity.
Next up is your beets which your going to roast in the oven for an hour with some olive oil and lemon slices. Chopped walnuts will give the salad some crunch and texture while the feta cheese provides just the right amount of salt to this meal.
The only dressing you’ll need will be a little balsamic vinegar which compliments the rest of the ingredients very well. I like to use Espresso flavoured balsamic vinegar but regular balsamic vinegar will work just as well.
Once of the great things of this salad is that you can freely substitute any of the ingredients with something else if you prefer. Don’t like Feta cheese, you could easily use Parmesan. Instead of walnuts you could use pecans, pistachios, almonds, or even cashews. Not a fan of balsamic vinegar then a drizzle of honey would also work.
Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts
- 1 large or 2 medium Red Beets
- 1/2 Lemon
- 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
- 1 bunch of Arugula
- 1/2 cup of chopped Walnuts
- 1/3 cup of crumbled Feta Cheese
- 2 Tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 375°.
- Arrange two square pieces of tinfoil on top of each other. Cut the beet in half and place side by side on top of the tinfoil.
- Cut two thin slices of lemon and place one slice on each half of the beet. Drizzle the olive oil over the beets.
- Wrap the beet halves in the tinfoil and place into the oven.
- Bake at 375° for 1 hour. Once done remove the beets and set aside to cool.
- Place your arugula in a bowl and squeeze the remaining lemon juice over top. Mix together and arrange the arugula in the middle of a serving dish.
- Once the beets have cooled peel and cut into thin slices and arrange on top of the arugula.
- Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over top.
- Sprinkle the crumbled feta over top.
- Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over top.
- Serve and enjoy.