Due to my travel last week, I don’t have anything major waiting in the wings to be shared. But with Spring peeking its head around the corner here in Oregon, I had a hankering for something earthy and simple. For the first time since I covered the grill last year, I started craving salad again. Our Farmers’ Markets have just started reemerging from their winter slumber and though the pickin’s are slim this time of year, some great root veggies and the first of the spring greens are making an appearance. This is a light preparation that celebrates the best of this time of transition and will give you a peek at all the good things to come.
1 lb. beets
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. Champagne or apple cider vinegar
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon (Meyer lemons are in season now and have amazing flavor)
1 clove garlic, minced and smashed with a pinch of salt with the flat of a knife
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
8 cups mixed spring salad greens
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Wrap beets loosely in tinfoil and roast in oven for 1-1 1/2 hours, until tender. Allow to cool, then remove their skins and slice into wedges.
2) Make vinaigrette: Combine olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and zest, garlic, mustard, and S&P in a bowl or jar and whisk or shake to emulsify.
3) In a large bowl, combine greens and green onion. Toss with dressing. Plate the greens and top with a handful of beets and some hazelnuts. Serve it up, yo.
NOTES: A fine raw goat’s cheese is amazing with this if you’re so inclined. For you snoopy-pantses, the chicken in the photo is simply tossed with some Herbes de Provence and roasted.