This beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts is our go-to dinner party salad. We don’t think we've ever served it without sending a few people home with the recipe. We love adding in our very own pickled beets into this salad or pick up fresh beets and give them a quick roast in the oven to bring out all the natural sugars. Be sure to dress the greens at the last minute so they don’t get soggy, and top the salad with the beets as opposed to mixing them in (tossing the beets with the salad will turn everything pink! LOL! LOL! ROTFL!).
INGREDIENTS FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
2 tablespoons honey
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1½ tablespoons minced shallots
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
FOR THE SALAD
10 ounces mixed greens
About a half jar of Waterford Beet Company pickled beets or fresh roasted beets, cut into wedges (see note)
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 ounces goat cheese
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. (Alternatively, add all the ingredients to a jar, cover with the lid, and shake vigorously to blend.) Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
FOR THE SALAD
Place the greens in a large bowl, drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add as much of the remaining vinaigrette as desired and toss again. Arrange the greens on a large platter or divide onto plates, then top with beets, walnuts and goat cheese. Serve immediately.
Note: If you'd like to roast your own beets, you'll need 1 bunch of medium beets (about 3). Preheat oven to 425°F and set an oven rack to the middle position. Wipe or scrub the beets clean, then trim stems down to one-inch (leave "tails" on). Place the beets on a large piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then wrap foil around the beets to form a neat packet. Roast directly on a rack in the middle of the oven until tender, about 1 hour. Test for doneness by piercing the largest beet with a knife. If it enters easily, it's done. Unwrap the beets and let sit until cool enough to handle. Use your hands or a paring knife to peel the skin, then cut into wedges.
Make-Ahead Instructions: The vinaigrette can be made up to 4 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Before serving, let sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes, and then shake to re-emulsify.