We are two and a half weeks into a full-gut kitchen and mud room remodel, and it feels like it’s been two and a half months. The above video was taken just after the demo crew tore out the sheet rock ceiling in one fell swoop, rumbling the entire house with such force that I thought the second floor was going to collapse. Though the builder and project manager have been incredible, there is no escaping the dust and acoustic hell. I now understand why my ballerina daughter goes completely stir-crazy when she has too much time out of the studio! I miss the smell of garlic and onions sputtering on the stove, the feel of a chef’s knife in my hand, the satisfaction of putting a meal on the table. Yes, we are throwing things on the grill from time to time, but anything that requires rinsing (vegetables and fruit) or washing (dishes) needs to be done in our bathroom sink. So that “This will be fun! Just like camping!” feeling disappeared after three days, then spiraled into total misery. At this point I am (a) worried we may die of scurvy and (b) certain no one in this family will ever have peanut butter toast again. I have no doubt, however, that it will all be worth it. And I cannot wait to share the pictures with you.
So on to the recipe. Maybe it’s because we are woefully lacking in vegetables around here, but I’m really craving fresh and bright ingredients. This Golden Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Pistachios, and Clementine Shallot Vinaigrette is one of my favorites. When I originally wrote the recipe I was looking for a way to use beets top-to-tail. The result was a super yummy nutritional powerhouse! Beets are packed with folate, fiber, and phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. Their greens are not only delicious, but one of the most nutrient packed greens around with high levels of vitamins K, A, C and E as well as copper, potassium, magnesium, iron and lutein. Clementines provide vitamin C, potassium and calcium, and the pistachios add protein, fiber, and healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Last but not least, the goat cheese lends creamy goodness as well as protein, calcium, and riboflavin, and it’s lower in fat and sodium than many other cheeses.
Oh, one more thing! Don’t forget the power of seared salmon fillets (recipe here) to turn a salad into a hearty main course. They pair beautifully with this recipe.
Golden Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Pistachios and Clementine Shallot Vinaigrette
serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side
for the salad:
3 raw golden beets with greens attached
1 head romaine lettuce
2 ounces (1/4 cup) crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
for the clementine shallot vinaigrette:
zest of 2 clementines
1/4 cup freshly squeezed clementine juice
1/4 cup sunflower oil (or any neutral tasting oil such as safflower, grapeseed, or canola)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot (about 1/2 of a small shallot)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, finely crumbled
1/4 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Trim greens, stems and root ends from beets. Reserve greens and discard stems and root ends (though you can save the stems for another use – they are delicious finely chopped and sauteed). Scrub beets well and place on foil lined with a sheet of parchment. Wrap parchment and foil tightly around beets and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.
Allow beets to cool, then rub skins off with a paper towel or scrape off with a paring knife.Thinly slice beets.
While beets are roasting, rinse and dry beet greens, then thinly slice. Rinse, dry and thinly slice romaine leaves. Zest the clementines.
Supreme the clementines (how to here). Squeeze juice from the leftover peels and membranes into a small bowl.
Make vinaigrette: whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bowl until emulsified.
Toss 1 1/2 cups beet greens with 1 1/2 cups romaine in a large bowl. Place beets and clementines on top, then sprinkle with goat cheese and pistachios. Drizzle with clementine vinaigrette.