Spinach Salad with Beets, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

Green, brown, white, and deep crimson.  The colors scream to be consumed.  We threw this together to accompany a pasta dish on a sunny Sunday but this salad is so hearty it could also be a weeknight meal.  We cheated by using Trader Joe's vacuum packed pre-cooked beets, but you could roast your own easily in about 45 minutes (technique below).

Use a basic balsamic vinaigrette to accent the flavors and not overpower them.  Balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper do the trick nicely.  Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry skillet.  Open the bag of spinach and dress the leaves.  Slice the beets thin and place on the greens.  Drop gobs of goat cheese, and I like to finish with more fresh ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

If you want to roast your own beets.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut the greens off about an inch over the bulb, wash very carefully as they are often quite sandy.  Rub some olive oil all over them and either fold up into an aluminum foil pouch and/or place on foil-lined baking sheet.  Roast for 45 minutes.  Remove the skin, it skin should come off easily under running water.

If you want to make your own cheese, read a book.

If you ever get red pee after eating beets, like I do, don't be alarmed.  Not only is it relatively common, but they have a name for it, Beeturia.  There is some evidence to suggest it may be more prevalent in individuals with iron deficiency but they also think that the specific gut flora plays an uncertain role.  Well, now you know.

Authordavid koch