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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chew on This | Roasted Beet Salad with Balsamic Reduction

We're trying to pack it all in. You know, this Summer thing. 

We have precious few days left and we're almost frantic deciding what, when, where and how we'll do it all. But I guess I shouldn't be so crazed. We did check off plenty of items from our Summer Bucket List. Actually, I'd estimate greater than 75% of our list is complete (plus or minus 3.4555% - hee hee!). 

However, the items we've missed on our list are pretty darn awesome. And I'm not a 75% (+/- 3.455%) kind of girl. I don't like 'incomplete'. It's a struggle to walk by that big board in our mud room and see Summer activities patiently waiting for their box to be checked. 


So what do I do? Act like a nutter and try to furiously shove fun, fun, fun down our throats?  Not taking care to enjoy the moment authentically because we need to hurry up and check another Summer memory maker off the list. That doesn't sound awesome. 

What does sound awesome (and sane) is having a blast these last few days of Summer vacation. And realizing that Summer doesn't actually end until Friday, September 21st. We've got some time.


Here's our recipe:

This beet salad will tickle your tastebuds. It's a spectacular pairing of sweet and tangy!

Roasted Beet Salad with Balsamic Reduction
(serves 4-6)

2 raw red beets
2 T olive oil
1 t salt
4-6 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1/2 C sugared, chopped walnuts (recipe below)
1/2 C balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Start this delicious salad by first roasting your beets. Remove stalks and tips from each beet, leaving the skins on while roasting. Scrub thoroughly in water and dry. Place beets onto a large piece of foil (large enough to cover beets entirely). Before covering the beets, douse with olive oil and salt. Fold foil over beets and place the beet packet onto a small cookie sheet and then into the preheated oven. Roast beets for approximately 35-45 minutes or until fork tender. 

Remove beets from the oven and allow to cool. When cooled, use a vegetable peeler to remove skins and then slice each beet into disks, approximately 1/8" thick.

While beets are roasting, prepare your walnuts. 

Sugared Walnuts:
1 C whole walnuts
1 T melted butter
1 T granulated sugar
1 t salt

In a medium bowl, toss together all of your ingredients until walnuts are completely coated. Pour walnuts out onto a small cookie sheet, making sure walnuts are in one single layer. Place walnuts into a preheated, 350℉ oven and allow to toast for approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove walnuts from the oven and allow to cool completely before using.

For this recipe, you'll need to chop the sugared walnuts before using. You only need 1/2 cup chopped walnuts for this yummy beet salad. The remaining walnuts can be frozen for later use or enjoyed right now (your welcome!).

Balsamic Reduction:
To make your balsamic reduction, pour your vinegar into a small sauce pan. Place pan over medium-high heat and allow the vinegar to come to a low boil. Stir constantly. The vinegar will begin to thicken in about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat. The vinegar will continue to thicken and should be the consistency of syrup.

To assemble your salad, place one slice of roasted beet in the middle of a small salad/appetizer plate. Top with some crumbled goat cheese and a few chopped walnuts. Repeat. Top this second layer with a final beet slice and garnish with just a bit of goat cheese and a walnut or two. Dot the plate with a few drops of balsamic reduction and drizzle some reduction across the top beet. Beautiful and delicious - enjoy!

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