Recipes,  Salads

Bacon & Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

We love bacon in our house…me, Jeff, all the kids…it is consumed on almost a daily basis (I probably shouldn’t confess that). So how about bacon, shallots fried in bacon fat AND roasted beets? I don’t know about you, but for Jeff and me that equals food heaven! If beets are not in season feel free to swap in whatever vegetables are fresh at the market. You could simply slice the vegetables are add them to the salad, but consider roasting or grilling them, it adds a flavor dimension and textural contrast you don’t get from raw veggies. What makes this salad sing is the combination of the bracing vinaigrette, the bacon, the fried shallots and the goat cheese. All of the other parts of the salad can be changed according to the season. This salad is truly spectacular, make this and show your family some food love, or serve it for company and add some seared scallops, grilled steak or chicken…an easy and elegant dinner with friends.

Here’s the delicious side salad version
Add some savory seared sea scallops for a delicious dinner salad
Bacon & Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
Author: Kate Wagner
Serves: 4
Consider this recipe the template for your new salad showstopper. Some ideas for pairings are grilled asparagus and radishes, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas…the list goes on and on. It just has such a terrific mix of flavors and all of the components can be made ahead of time. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of Beets (2-3 beets per bunch), stems and tops cut off
  • Olive oil (1 tbsp for each beet)
  • 4 Slices of Bacon, thick-sliced works best
  • 1-2 Shallots (decide on the quantity of fried shallot garnish you want), thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Olive oil
  • 1 (5 oz) bag of Arugula (or lettuce of your choice)
  • 2-3 oz Goat cheese, crumbled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and make a foil packet for the beets. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil for each beet (bunches vary from 2-3 beets). Seal foil packet, place on a sheet pan and roast for 1 hour.
  2. Remove tray from the oven, carefully open packet and allow the beets to cool. Once cool, peel skins (you can use a vegetable peeler but I find they come off easily using my hands which I wash right away). Slice beets into thin wedges or small chunks depending on your preference. (You will have some extra beets for another salad)
  3. In the meantime, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Fry until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper-toweled plate. Once bacon is cool, slice into 1/4 strips (I use kitchen shears for this).
  4. Fry shallots over medium heat in the bacon fat until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes. Turn down heat if they start to brown too quickly. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  5. In a Mason jar add the garlic, Dijon mustard, Kosher salt, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Shake vigorously to combine. (see note).
  6. In a large bowl toss arugula with dressing to taste.
  7. Plate salad and top beets, goat cheese and fried shallots. Add protein if serving as a dinner salad.
Notes
Using the vinaigrette – The extra dressing can be used to make additional salads, or as a marinade for seafood or chicken. You can store this in the fridge for up to a week, let come to room temperature before using so the olive oil, which hardens in the fridge, can turn back to a liquid.

 

 

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