Starting to see pumpkins in the stores and that means Autumn is just around the corner. I can’t wait to pack away the grill, go inside and start slow braising and cooking with the beautiful Fall produce. Here is one of my favorite Fall salads using beet and pears.
Double up on the caramelized walnuts, they make excellent cocktail snacks for the weekend.
Roast Beet, Caramelized Walnuts and Goat Cheese Salad with a Walnut Dressing
1 six ounce bag of mixed salad leaves
1 lb fresh beetroot (about three bulbs)
4 ounces soft goat cheese (Bourdin) – crumbled
4 sliced mid cut bacon – broiled until crispy – then finely chopped
1 ripe pear – peeled and finely diced
For the Caramelized walnuts;
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon corn oil
For the walnut dressing;
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp corn oil
3 tbsp walnut oil
1 tsp water
salt and pepper to taste
1) Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees f. Trim the leaves off the beetroot and scrub the bulbs clean of any dirt and grit. Wrap in aluminum and bake for about 1 hour or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Peel the beetroot, cut into cubes and place in a small bowl.
2) Place the walnuts, sugar and corn oil in a heavy pan over high heat and stir until the sugar caramelizes. Turn out the nuts onto a lightly greased plate.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
4) Pour half of the dressing over the beetroot and let it marinade for about 30 minutes.
5) Divide the salad leaves between four plates and arrange the beetroot, pear, goat cheese and bacon on top. Drizzle the salad with the remaining dressing to taste. Sprinkle on the walnuts and serve.