Sunday, August 25, 2013

#MeatlessMonday: Fresh Beet & Goat Cheese Salad w/Lime Mango Dressing

Roasted Beet Summer Salad with Lime Mango Dressing
Ahhh summer! When the weather heats up we all head outdoors, thankful not to be cooped up inside while the snow falls outside. Now is the time to dust off the patio set and break out the plasti-ware for outdoor eating. When the temps inch upward, more cool summer salads come out of my kitchen.

This recipe for roasted beets with goat cheese on greens was inspired by a salad I had at Cat Cora's Kitchen at the Salt Lake Airport. I just fell in love with the mix of flavor and texture so I set out to duplicate it... or come close to duplicating it.

Ingredients for the Salad
3 beets cut to bite sized pieces, roasted (recipe follows)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
6 cups Spring Green Lettuce Mix
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
3 ounces goat cheese

To roast the beets:
Preheat the oven to 375°. In an 8-inch square nonreactive baking dish, toss the beets with the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper and spread the beets in a single layer. Spray an 8-inch piece of parchment paper lightly with olive oil cooking spray and set it oiled-side down on the beets. Cover tightly with foil and roast, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 40 minutes, until the beets are tender. Chill for an hour in the fridge. You can do this a day ahead if you like.
Summer Salad Recipe
To toast the almonds:
Put 1 Tablespoon coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat to medium heat. Add the almonds and toast until the almonds are a darker brown and you get a nice aroma of almond. Set aside. 

Ingredients for the Dressing
1 fresh mango, chopped
juice from 2 medium limes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like the heat)
1/8 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

For the dressing, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, but still slightly thick. You do not want this really runny and the mango should keep it at a thicker consistency. Chill in the refrigerator at least two hours. 
Summer Salad Recipe
Now that the beets are roasted, the almonds toasted, the dressing made and all has been chilled, it's time to assemble!  In a large bowl, place the spring greens. Add the beets, blueberries, goat cheese and sprinkle the top with the toasted, sliced almonds.

Serve to your guests with some crostini and a glass of light white wine while sitting on the patio enjoying a lovely summer evening. The crisp lettuce and the flavors of the beets and blueberries is just perfect! Add to that the lime mango dressing and you have a salad that will make your taste buds do the happy dance.
Summer Salad Recipe
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