Sometimes, I find myself avoiding posting things on my blog that might be too…normal. Subconsciously, I think the food blog world has gotten into this pattern of bigger/weirder/more. Each post trying to out-bacon or out-cupcake the next one. That’s never been the focus here, for sure. While I’m all about freestyling and experimenting, oddities don’t really have a place in my kitchen. This is food. Cooking. Nourishment. Experiences. There’s no camera crew here and no tape measures to make sure my recipe reaches a height requirement. I wonder some days if simple food catches peoples interest the way it does mine.
Beet and goat cheese salads are ubiquitous these days. As I said on Twitter, I’m surprised McDonald’s hasn’t put out their own version. You know what, though? I still enjoy the combination thoroughly. It often makes an appearance at my house with a tweak here or there – toasted pepitas sprinkled on top, lavender flowers thrown in with the goat cheese, a bit of flavored salt. Personalizing a classic isn’t going to make it a feature on Man vs. Food…and I’m okay with that. I hope you all are, too.
This salad came about because of my current obsession with radishes. I’ve been using them in photoshoots and cooking with them seemingly non-stop. The ones we’ve had from the local farmstand market are so tender and flavorful, you really only need some butter and salt. Wanting to pair them up with a little goat cheese, I thought I’d throw the last handful into a beet salad – they add a lovely crunch. Outside of the radishes, there’s really particularly nothing out of the ordinary. There is, however, white truffle oil. I was gifted with (what can only be described as a jug of) white truffle oil and I’ve been adding it here and there in my cooking. A simple vinaigrette that wafts that earthy truffle smell – it’s heavenly. Make sure you have bread on hand to sop up the vinegary, shockingly pink liquid left behind by this salad. Trust me.
Roasted Beet & Radish Salad with White Truffle Vinaigrette – serves 4 as a salad course or light entree
– To roast the beets: Preheat your oven to 375. Laying out a large sheet of aluminum foil, place the beets in the middle and drizzle with the oil. Wrap them up completely in the aluminum foil so that it makes a pouch. Place on rack of oven and roast until tender and easily pierced with a knife – 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Cook longer if they aren’t tender when you test them. Once roasted, allow to cool enough to handle. Peel the skins off – either with a small paring knife or with your fingers. Allow to cool lightly covered until room temperature.
– To assemble the salad: Whisk together the white balsamic vinegar & white truffle oil and set aside. For serving, I like to do this family style so folks can compose their own bites. Slice the cooled beets thinly into slices or cut them into cubes and arrange them on a platter. Layer the thinly sliced radishes on top of the beets in an even layer. Sprinkle the arugula evenly on top of the radish layer. Add crumbles of goat cheese across the top haphazardly but evenly enough so it’s distributed. Season the entire dish with a pinch or two of salt and 3 or 4 grinds of fresh pepper. Drizzle over the vinaigrette (you may want to re-whisk quickly) and serve immediately with some crusty bread.