Hello, friends. I'd like to introduce you to a longtime favorite of mine. Please meet roasted beets, maple candied walnuts, and goat cheese. And all that green stuff they're sitting on top of, that would be kale. But of course! I love kale. I know I know I'm one *those* people. Thanks for sticking with me even though I'm nuts for kale.
I just love the way kale's hearty texture stands up to the rest of the salad, rather than shrinking into the background as flimsy, delicate greens tend to do. And it doesn't wilt so there's no rush to eat it since it won't turn to slimy mush. I also love how the dressing sneaks its way into all the corners and grooves so each bite is super loaded with tastiness.
Speaking of salad dressing … do you make your own?
If you're not, this is a great time to start. Back in my store-bought salad dressing days I always thought that making my own would be difficult, and the few times I tried it just never turned out. The recipe for this salad dressing is my go-to make it all the time dressing. It'll last in the fridge for at least a week so you can make a bigger batch and use it on lots of different salads.
The biggest trick you need to know is to slowly whisk in the oil. Don't just dump everything into a bowl and stir it around. If you do that you'll end up with oily, runny dressing. What you're looking for is creamy.
What you're going to do is put everything EXCEPT the oil into a bowl and give it a little whisk. Then slowly add the oil in a small steady stream while whisking constantly. If you're familiar with making mayonnaise it is the same process, only minus the egg yolk. The whole whisking the oil in slowly thing will only take you about a minute.
You'll notice that in the recipe instructions I've said to peel the beets before they go in the oven. What? Why??
Here's why I do it that way: I really really don't like overcooked veggies. I like all my vegetables (with potatoes being the only exception) to have a slight bite to them when I eat them. What I've found it that by the time beets are cooked so their skins rub off easily they are overcooked. And honestly, it only takes a minute to quickly peel then. It's no biggie.
What about the red-stained hands, you say? By the time you finish washing up the dinner dishes any evidence of your beet peeling will be gone.
Happy salad eating!!
If you make Roasted Beet and Kale Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create.
- 1.5 lb. beets, peeled and quartered (or cut into bite sized pieces if you're using large beets)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 4 packed cups of curly kale, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
- Optional: ¼ cup goat or Boursin cheese (a diced avocado makes a great vegan alternative to creamy cheeses in salads!)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove grated on a Microplane or very finely minced
- A pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle the oil over top. Use your hands to toss them in the oil. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until they can be priced using some pressure with a fork.
- Add the walnut halves to a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Let them cook until they are fragrant and start to brown in places, shaking the pan frequently. Pour over the maple syrup and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Let them cook, stirring constantly, until the maple syrup has almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove the walnuts from the pan and place them on a piece of parchment paper, separating them from each other as much as possible.
- Add the kale, optional cheese or avocado and the walnuts to a large bowl. When the beets come out of the oven let them cool slightly then add them to the bowl too. Pour the dressing over top and toss well so that everything is coated.
- Combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the oil in a medium sized bowl. Slowly add the oil in a thin steady stream while whisking the dressing constantly. If the oil starts to build up at all stop pouring it and whisk the dressing vigorously. It will take you about 1 minute to whisk in the oil. Taste the dressing and season it with extra salt, to taste.