Every once and a while I get presents in the form of food from friends. It ranges from the insane amount of figs I've received this year from Lauren that I've made in to so many jars of jam to fun seasonings and spices from Sarah who gets all manner of samples from her work to random produce from people who just have too much of one good thing.
I have a friend who I met through my job....she started out as a just cool lady who owns a rental company so I work with her a LOT. We got to know each other through industry mixers and events we worked on and after while I realized that this is someone who I would love to have in my life outside of work....and I was right. We've vacationed together and dined together and I've gotten to know that Heidi shares so many of the same things that I absolutely love in my life.....family, fun and food. She gardens and owns chickens (even though she doesn't eat the eggs) and loves to share her bounty with the people in her life.
In this case, Heidi showed up at my office to pick up leftover event goodies from a recent party and while she was there brought me up a cardboard box full of goodies. A honeydew type melon the size of a large grapefruit, a crookneck squash, a few lovely lemons and a handful of beets...yanked from the ground with dirt still clinging to them.
I love beets. I love the red ones, the yellow ones, the pink ones and the candy stripe ones. I love them roasted, pickled and grilled (yes, grilled!). They are amazing on salads or on their own, sweet and earthy and if made right with none of the rubbery texture that comes from the canned variety. Beets pair really well with cheese, you will often find them with goats cheese, bleu cheese, brie cheese and anything else that is creamy and or pungent.
Tonight we had one of the more perfect salads that I have had with beets, simple as heck, but the end result was fantastic. Thank you Heidi for contributing to an awesome dinner!
Beet Salad with Pistachios & Goats Cheese
4 Medium Beets
1/2 C Pistachios
1/4 C Goats Cheese
1 Small Shallot (about 1/8 C)
1 T Lemon Juice
1/4 C Orange Olive Oil (or 1/4 C Olive Oil with 1 tsp Orange Zest)
Salt & Pepper
Toss Beets with a little olive oil, salt & pepper, place in tin foil and seal. Bake at 400 for about an hour. Depending on how big the beets are the time can vary. Cool and peel.
Slice beets in to 1/8" slices and distribute among 4 plates in a single layer, dot the beets with goat cheese and sprinkle the pistachios over the top.
Mix olive oil, shallots, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Toss the lettuce with the vinaigrette and place on top of the beets.