By Bittina Chapman
This salad is basically all of the things I love combined together (except for mac & cheese- because that just doesn’t belong on a salad but, I digress) If I were going to be stuck on a deserted island and someone just sent me a bunch of roasted beets and some goat cheese, I would be set. Something about the earthy flavor of the beets with the kick of goat cheese that just makes for a fabulous combo.
For this month’s recipe, I wanted to come up with a fun side dish that would be fancy and look festive for a smaller Thanksgiving or holiday gathering. 2020 is the year of the pivot, right? And this salad will make you a little less sad that Grandma’s green bean casserole won’t be making an appearance this year while you spend the holidays apart from family. It is a bit time consuming to make, but if you prep some of it the night before- or opt for pre-roasted beets, you can shave off a considerable chunk of time.
- Roasted Beets
- Roasted Delicata Squash
- Wild Rice*
- Goat Cheese
- Pomegranate Seeds
- Pepitas- roasted and unsalted
*can sub your favorite grain
- 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbs Lemon Juice
- 1Tbs Honey
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- Pinch Salt
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- Dash Cayenne Pepper
First, you are going to want to cook your wild rice and get your beets roasting since they will take the longest. If you go with the straight wild rice it takes about 40 minutes to cook- but you can easily substitute a different grain if it is out of your budget or time allotment. (I was kinda shocked it was $8+ for the smallest bag) I only cooked about 1/3 cup of the rice and it was plenty for this dish. To roast your beets, wash them, cut the tops off, and wrap them in foil with a drizzle of olive oil and bake at 400*- check them after 30 minutes but depending on size they could take an hour.
Next, wash and slice the ends off your Delicata squash, and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, and slice into thin slices- about 1/8 inch thick. Arrange them on a baking sheet covered in a bit of olive oil and add them to your 400* oven. They will only need about 25-30 minutes, giving them a stir about halfway through.
To release the seeds of the pomegranate (thank you internet for this life hack!!) cut it in half and submerge it in a bowl of water- while underwater you can easily pop the kernels out without ending up looking like a crime scene. When you are done- just drain the water and you are good to go. If you are prepping the night before- this is where you will want to pause- and do the rest just before you are ready to assemble.
Wash your kale, cut it from the stems, and into small ribbons- place it in a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil, a dash of salt, and a small squeeze of lemon juice and give it a good massage to soften the leaves. Set aside. Once the beets are roasted (and then cooled) peel them and cut them into slices. Set aside.
Put your goat cheese in the freezer for a few minutes to harden it up a bit- this will make “chunking” it off way easier.
To make the dressing, combine all dressing ingredients in a shaker or mason jar and give it a good shake. Adjust any ingredients to your liking- I usually add a bit more salt.
When you are ready to put this in a serving dish, start with the kale, top with the roasted veggies, then the rice, the pomegranate seeds, pepitas, and finish off with the little chunks of goat cheese- by dragging a fork over the partially frozen block to create little pieces. You can dress the salad or wait until serving time. And, if you anticipate leftovers, keep some of the ingredients separate to combine when you are ready for seconds (or thirds- because it’s so damn good).
If you end up eating multiple helpings of this salad, please keep in mind that fresh beets can be a surprise on the other side and may switch up the color of things in the bathroom. I thought I was dying the first time I ate a big bowl of beets and was happy to find out that it’s just their lovely dark hue. (We are all friends here, so I had to tell you.)
As usual, please share with us if you try one of our recipes by tagging us on Instagram @JoinLadyBox and the hashtag #LadyBoxPeriodFood.
This November I’m thankful for a historic election, my health, and all of YOU.