This salad from Nancy Oakes is both hearty and light, combining big flavors (beets, arugula, goat cheese) in a bracing lemon dressing.
1 1/2 pounds medium beets
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 whole lemon
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
2 Hass avocados, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups lightly packed baby arugula
4 ounces Spanish Caña de Cabra, coarsely crumbled, or semi-firm aged goat cheese, shaved (1 cup)
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a small baking dish, rub the beets all over with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until the beets are tender. Uncover the dish and let the beets cool slightly. Peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch wedges.
Meanwhile, spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and bake for about 7 minutes, until golden. Let cool completely.
Using a sharp knife, carefully peel the lemon, removing all of the bitter white pith. Cut in between the membranes to release the sections; cut the sections into small pieces. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon pieces.
In a large bowl, toss the avocados and arugula with half of the dressing and season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates. In the same bowl, toss the beets with the remaining dressing. Spoon the beets over the salad, top with the toasted pine nuts and shaved cheese and serve.
Elegant, floral Provençal rosé.
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