Golden beets beckoned me at the farmer’s market this week and star in this flavorful fall salad. Oven-roasted beets are paired with an interesting blueberry encrusted chèvre(Trader Joe’s) that I knew would look great with the beets. The salad was simply topped with thin slivers of red onion, crunchy caramelized maple hazelnuts, long slivers of lemon peel, a handful of pomegranate seeds and some fresh basil leaves. A drizzle of each, blood orange infused olive oil and orange muscat champagne vinegar made this salad and my heart, sing!
Golden Beet and Blueberry Chèvre Salad with Caramelized Maple Hazelnuts
- 5 large golden beets
- 1/2 teapoon ground sumac
- coarse zest of a lemon
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 3 very thin slices of red onion, separated
- 1/2 cup blueberry-encrusted chèvre(Trader Joe)
- 3 tablespoonsbasil leaves, finely cut
To roast the beets, preheat the oven to 400F. Scrub the beets clean and leave an inch of stem on the top and the full root. Wrap the beets in a foil packet. Place on the lower rack of the oven and roast for an hour. Turn off the oven and leave the beets to cool for several hours, or overnight. Peel the beets by running your hands against the peel and cut off the stem and root. On a rimmed platter, cut the beets in bite-sized chunks. Sprinkle with sumac, if you have it. If not, use a bit more lemon zest.
To caramelized the hazelnuts: In a skillet, heat 1 T olive oil, add the hazelnuts and stir constantly until the nuts are fragrant, about a minute. Add 1 T maple syrup, stir to coat and cook another minute stirring constantly. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread on a piece of parchment to cool. Make sure the nuts do not touch so they don’t clump together.
Assembly: On top of the beets, add thin slices of red onion. Top, in this order, with the blueberry goat cheese, the lemon zest, the pomegranate seeds, and the maple hazelnuts. Drizzle with blood orange olive oil and another drizzle of orange champagne vinegar. Finish with a scattering of chiffonade cut basil leaves.