I never know what I’m going to walk out with when I go to the grocery store, but today I found some loose beets for 99 cents a pound and HAD to snatch a couple of them up! I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, but when I got home and saw my 5 pound bag of Granny Smith apples, I paired them together in a salad.
1 apple (I used Granny Smith because I like how tart they are, but choose your favorite)
1/2 cup of toasted walnuts*
2 tbsp goat cheese (herbed or regular)
5 sprigs of fresh tarragon (or parsley if you don’t like anise flavor)**
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
Let the fun begin!
Start by scrubbing the beets with a vegetable brush under cold water, then wrap them up individually in aluminum foil. Even if there are loose little roots or nubs on the beets, do not trim them or the beets will bleed during cooking. Now roast them in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, until you can easily pierce through them with a paring knife.
After the beets have cooled a little bit, peel the skin off and cut them up into bite sized pieces. If you don’t want your hands to look this when you’re done, wear gloves when cutting the beets =)
Next dice the apple up, toss them with the beets in a bowl, staining the apples a beautiful pink color. Crumble up the walnuts with your fingers to break them up into little pieces and throw them into the bowl. Chop up the tarragon leaves (tarragon has an anise flavor, so leave it out if you don’t like it, though I think tarragon goes beautifully with beets) and mix those into the bowl along with the goat cheese.
To make the dressing, whisk together the honey and lemon juice, and pour it onto the beet and apple salad to marinate, and toss frequently. Serve and enjoy!
*You can toast nuts by either keeping them moving in a skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, or spreading them out on a sheet pan and roasting for 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Toasting amplifies the nutty flavor of the walnuts.
** I tried a mix of tarragon and parsley, and the tarragon definitely goes better with the flavor of the beets and apples.