Gluten Free Quick Roasted Beet Salad Recipe
What do you do when your husband (spouse, boy/girlfriend, significant other, roommate, mother, brother, whatever) calls and tells you he/she is on his way home with a good friend (and important business associate) who he/she has invited for dinner and to spend the night? And you have been basically lazing around for days, are in sweats and had planned on a can of gluten-free lentil soup for dinner? And he has been bragging to said friend/business associate what a fabulous gourmet cook you are? And you haven’t been grocery shopping in ages. And they will be there in 10 minutes?!
Well, if you are me you:
1. Curse your husband (spouse, boy/girlfriend, significant other, roommate, mother, brother, whatever) creatively and in every language you know.
3. Realize that cursing and panicking is a waste of time.
4. Race around the house picking up anything that could be construed as clutter, throw it into your office and bolt the door shut.
5. Grab husband’s favorite shirt and dust off anything that is immediately visible.
6. Ensure guest bedroom and bath has clean sheets, towels, etc. and sweep the dust bunnies under the rug.
7. Brush teeth and change into first set of clean clothes you can find.
8. Spend the last minute and a half you have left doing a quick scan of the pantry, fridge and freezer and formulate some sort of dinner game plan – hopefully something that will be perceived as fabulous and gourmet.
9. Smile when they walk through the door (mentally cursing husband) and be charming and relaxed.
Fortunately, I had been developing a coconut pie recipe, so dessert was handled. The freezer turned up chicken breasts (which could be quickly thawed, pounded, and doctored up) and some walnuts. The fridge held a bag of baby arugula, a variety of citrus and some goat cheese, and the pantry had risotto rice, dried shiitakes, gluten-free chicken stock and 2 cans of beets. How the hell those cans of beets got in there is beyond me – but I’m thinking that the same person who put Spam in there was also responsible for the beets.
Hmmm, beets, walnuts, arugula, goat cheese and oranges. An idea was formulating for a starter.
I was going to call this Ghetto Beet Salad since I used canned beets but I thought better of it. Also, roasting the canned beets made them taste fantastic. And it was so quick and easy. No roasting for 45 minutes, cooling, peeling and getting beet-stained hands.
Walnut oil would be perfect for the dressing but I didn’t have any so I used a combination of olive and grape-seed oil.
- 2 cans standard cut beets - cut in chunks, not sliced -- rinsed, drained and patted dry
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 large or 2 small oranges - juiced and zested
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ tablespoon honey
- ½ cup walnut - olive or grape-seed oil (or combination)
- 4 large handfuls of arugula - or other salad greens
- 4 ounces goat or feta cheese - crumbled
- Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put beets on a baking dish, drizzle with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put walnuts on another baking dish. Cook beets for 15 minutes stirring once or twice. Put the walnuts in the oven with the beets and cook for 5 more minutes or until the nuts are fragrant. While beets and walnuts are roasting, make the dressing.
Whisk orange juice, zest, balsamic vinegar, honey and about ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper together. Continue whisking while you drizzle in the oil. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.
When beets and walnuts are done, toss the arugula with the dressing and divide among individual salad plates. Top with beets, walnuts and cheese. Serve immediately.
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