Longer Days and Lighter Fare

The lengthening days bring an appetite for lighter meals and vibrant colours. This rustic salad provides plenty of protein with goat cheese and nuts. Top with grilled chicken or seared flank steak for a heartier meal.

Adapted from an Ina Garten recipe.

Serves 6

6-8 medium-sized beets (use a blend of red, golden and Candyland for a bright and colourful salad)

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup good olive oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper

4 ounces mixed greens such as kale, spinach, arugula

1/3 cup roasted nuts such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts

4 ounces soft goat cheese or feta

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wrap each beet in foil. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until fork tender in the centre. Unwrap and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel beets.

Whisk vinegar, olive oil, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and set aside. When beets are still warm, cut into wedges and toss with half the vinaigrette, more salt and pepper.

Place mixed greens in a separate bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Put greens on a serving platter and layer with beets, nuts, and cheese on top. Drizzle with additional vinaigrette, sprinkle with more salt and pepper if needed, and serve.

Alternative toppings: blue cheese, red onion, mandarins, seared flank steak, grilled chicken, chopped egg.

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