This salad takes advantage of winter storage vegetables and escarole – a cold tolerant green. The slightly bitter greens contrast with the sweet earthy roasted vegetables, and both are enlivened by the tart goat cheese dressing.

The use of ground spices on the roasted vegetables adds a slightly exotic flavor that might be hard to pin down.

Escarole with Beets and Goat Cheese Dressing

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Cumin seed
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Fennel seed
½ teaspoon (2 ml) sea salt or other coarse salt – not table salt
2 beets peeled and cut into wedges – about a pound (500 g)
2 medium -sized red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
2-3 Tablespoons (30-45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces (55 g) crumbled goat cheese – or feta – or blue cheese
¼ cup (60 ml) plain greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) honey
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
1 small head escarole – rinsed and separated into individual stalks – about 4 cups
Ground pepper

METHOD
  1. Preheat oven to 375F – 190C – Gas mark 5
  2. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin and fennel seeds until fragrant – 2-3 minutes
  3. Grind (in a spice grinder) or mortar and pestle toasted seeds and salt
  4. In a bowl combine 3 Tablespoons oil, beets, onions and ground spices, toss to coat evenly
  5. IMG_1497a

  6. Transfer oiled and spiced vegetables to rimmed baking sheet and put in hot oven, cook about an hour stirring occasionally (every 15-20 minutes) until vegetables are tender
  7. Remove cooked vegetables from oven and allow to cool to room temperature
  8. In a small bowl, combine honey and lemon juice – set aside
  9. In a small bowl combine crumbled cheese and plain yogurt, stir to combine – it should be lumpy
  10. Arrange escarole in a bowl or on plates, top with roasted vegetable and drizzle a little of the honey lemon mixture over the top
  11. Spoon yogurt / cheese mixture over the top

This makes for a delicious and interesting salad, with great contrasts in texture, and flavors. So while the fresh bright flavors of spring are still a ways off, you can still enjoy a seasonal winter salad.

IMG_1505a

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging

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