I’m always trying to change up my salad repertoire because greens can become boring. I try to eat salad almost everyday and some days are more challenging than others. With spring here, the options are expanding with fresh farmers market beets, spring onions and sugar snap peas.
Every good salad should have a sweet and crunchy combination of flavors — that’s why you will love this salad. Golden beets have a more mild flavor than red beets, but still have enough natural sugar to enjoy, while the toasty hazelnuts and Ricotta Salata add texture and saltiness. This salad is great for lunch or dinner and it’s easy to double for entertaining.
3 large Golden beets
1/2 cup hazelnuts, mostly skinned
3 ounces Ricotta Salata cheese (you can find at most specialty grocery or Italian markets)
3 cups mixed greens
1/2 shallot, minced
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil or sunflower oil + more for roasting
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and scrub the beets and place them in foil with a drizzle of olive oil.
2. Close the foil tightly into a pouch and place them in the oven to roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until fork tender.
3. Remove the beets from the oven and open the foil to cool completely before handling.
5. Place the beets in a bowl and put them in the refrigerator to chill, while making the dressing.
6. In a mason or small jar, add the minced shallot.
7. Next, add the Dijon mustard and vinegar to the jar.
7. Then, pour in the olive oil and add a pinch of salt & pepper.
8. Put the lid on the jar and shake it up (not off, like Taylor Swift)! The dressing should be creamy in color. Place the dressing in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the other ingredients for the salad.
9. Place the hazelnuts in a small skillet over medium heat to toast for 5 minutes. Remove the nuts from the skillet and place them on a cutting board to coarsely chop.
10. Grate the Ricotta Salata and start assembling the salads.
11. Start with the greens, then some beets, hazelnuts and cheese to create your plates. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, about a tablespoon per plate.
12. Serve alone or with your favorite protein. Enjoy this lovely spring salad!