To be honest I feel like a complete putz posting a recipe for a salad. When I want a salad, I take whatever veggies I have in the house, chop them up and put them on a plate. Drizzle a little dressing on it and call it a day. I guess this post is more about food nostalgia than the actual food. I’ve been thinking about my parents alot lately and that inevitably leads me to think about the foods I ate (or wouldn’t eat) as a kid. I was the quintessential picky eater. If it looked weird, smelled funny, or otherwise didn’t fit into my acceptable culinary boundaries, I wouldn’t touch it.
Living in Appalachia, we had a pretty eclectic range of things available to us. We could get things like rabbits, squirrels, poke salad, ramps, and dandelion greens. I liked rabbit and squirrel but wouldn’t touch those greens with a ten foot pole. Lately I’ve caught myself ,either consciously or subconsciously, trying things that were on my childhood blacklist. I’m happy to report that my palate has greatly improved over the years. This summer has been unofficially dedicated to discovering or rediscovering those things I missed out on as a child.
When I saw these golden beets and daikon radishes at the market last week, I couldn’t walk by without buying them. They were beautiful and colorful and screamed at me to take them home. I made peace with the spinach and beets of my childhood years ago. Radishes, not so much so I figured this would be a good time to try them again. I wanted to like them. I wanted to be able to say my palate has changed so much that I’ll eat radishes every week now. Well that isn’t going to happen. As a kid I thought radishes tasted like peppery dirt and as an adult they still taste like peppery dirt. Sorry. While they may not be my thing, I encourage you to try them. They add a nice crunch and beautiful color to your salad.
To roast beets, wash them really well and peel them like an apple. Wash them again, wrap them in foil, and pop them in a 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your beets and how soft you want them. The bleu cheese I used for this is Kentucky Rose by Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese. It’s a very light tasting bleu. It almost tasted like a cheddar mixed with bleu so it’s great for those that aren’t crazy about strong bleu flavors. Feel free to use whatever cheese floats your boat.
Spinach Salad with Golden Beets and Bleu Cheese
- 3 cups raw spinach, arugula, or mixed greens
- 1 lb golden beets, roasted and diced
- 2 boiled eggs
- 1/2 cup bleu cheese, chopped, crumbled, or shredded
- 3 small radishes
- cherry tomatoes
- Chop everything and put it on a plate. Drizzle with dressing.
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 to 3 teaspoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons mild tasting oil like canola or sunflower
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Whisk the mustard and vinegar together in a small bowl.
- Slowly whisk in the 3 tablespoons of oil until the mixture is thickened, then whisk in the olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. If vinaigrette is too thick, whisk in a little water until you get the desired consistency.