Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts and Baby Spinach
4 medium beets, scrubbed
4 sprigs of thyme
Organic canola oil
½ cup hazelnuts lightly toasted and rubbed between a cloth to remove skins
1 tbsp honey and 1tbsp water
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp red balsamic vinegar
2 tsp minced shallots
1 tsp minced chives (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups of baby spinach leaves, washed, stems removed
3 oz plain goat cheese, crumbled
Heat oven to 350F, place beets in a pan and drizzle with canola oil and the sprigs of thyme. Bake beets for approximately 1-½ hours or until cooked. Cool, remove peel with a sharp knife or by rubbing in a cloth. Set aside.
Heat honey and water in a small saucepan until combined. Remove from heat and stir in hazelnuts. Season hazelnuts with salt and pepper. Remove with a slotted spoon to a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the hazelnuts are shiny and starting to brown.
In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, shallots and chives. Slowly add olive oil in a slow steady stream and continue whisking to emulsify dressing. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Cut each beet into 6 wedges. Toss beets in dressing to coat and arrange 3 wedges on opposite sides of each plate. Toss spinach with half of the goat cheese and just enough dressing to lightly coat spinach. Mound ¼ of the spinach in the center of each plate and scatter ¼ of the hazelnuts and ¼ of the goat cheese around the spinach on each plate.