this salad definitely hit the spot. i am a fussy salad eater as i love loud, bold flavors and i knew that i would have to make this one extra special. i decided to roast the beets in an inch of water to retain the sweetness, and that really effected the overall taste of the salad. the beets turned out perfectly tender after about an hour and 15 minutes covered in the oven. for the dressing, i concocted a walnut vinaigrette which ended up with a nice earthy, nutty flavor which paired nicely with the juiciness and sweetness of the mandarins. the herbed goat cheese turned out delicious too (not to mention this amazing aroma it gave off), and all together the salad was a harmoniously blend of great tastes.
one bag arugula mix
1 mandarin orange
2 good sized beets
FOR THE BEETS:
to roast beets you need to place two large sized beets (trimmed, yellow or red beets) in a 9 inch by 13 inch casserole dish and fill the dish with an inch of water. cover with aluminum foil and place in pre-heated oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit. leave in for approximately and hour to an hour and a half or until tender and a knife easily pokes through. when cool, slice.
*do not worry about peeling before hand, you can peel as soon as they cool from the oven as the skin will practically fall off.
FOR THE HERBED GOAT CHEESE:
one small log of goat cheese
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leave
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
mix the finely chopped herbs in a small bowl. roll the goat cheese log in the herbs until covered and place in refrigerator until needed.
FOR THE WALNUT VINAIGRETTE:
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/2 high quality extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and black pepper to taste
heat olive oil and walnuts on low heat for 10 minutes. do not burn !
when cool, place in bowl and whisk in all the other ingredients. adjust ingredients according to taste. place in fridge until needed.
arrange arugula mix on plate, add sliced beets, sliced goat cheese, mandarins, and drizzle with vinaigrette.