Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • • 1¼ lb raw beets, stems trimmed
  • • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • • 6 to 8 cups mixed greens
  • • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into ¼-inch slices
  • • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

  • Vinaigrette
  • • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • • ½ cup olive oil
  • • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • • 1 tsp honey
  • • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • Croutons
  • • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • • 8 oz goat cheese
  • • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • • 1 large egg, beaten
  • • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 475° F. Put the beets on aluminum foil and drizzle with the olive oil. Wrap the foil around them to form a packet and place on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow the beets to cool in the foil packet, about 5 minutes. Using a paper towel, rub off the skins from the beets. Cut the beets into a total of eight wedges and set aside. Place the beets in a large bowl, along with the mixed greens, apple and pecans.
  2. To make the vinaigrette, in a medium bowl, whisk together the shallot, olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Drizzle the salad with the vinaigrette and gently toss to combine. Set aside.
  3. To make the croutons, in a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high until simmering, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the goat cheese into 8 equal rounds. Put the flour, egg and bread crumbs into three separate shallow dishes. Mix the parsley into the bread crumbs. Coat each cheese round in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs and place into the skillet. Pan-fry until golden, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined rack or plate. Serve the salad on salad plates and top with the croutons.
In his foreword – affectionately signed “Mr. Yearwood” – to his wife’s new cookbook, Garth Brooks says he had always struggled with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. “But on my last checkup, my doctor came in, put the results down on the desk and jokingly said, ‘These results cannot be yours,’” recalls Garth, 53. He gives full credit for his newly healthy numbers to Trisha, 50, his Grammywinning wife of 10 years. It turns out she’s as adept at creating hits in the kitchen as she is in the recording studio. Her Food Network show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, is in its sixth season and Trisha’s Table reveals how she’s made dishes they already love lighter – a key reason Garth says he’s the healthiest he’s ever been. The couple still allow themselves the occasional indulgence, says Trisha, who’s joined Garth on his world tour, launched now that his three daughters are grown and off to college. “I have adopted an 80/20 rule when it comes to my delicate relationship with food; 80 per cent of the time I make good choices; 20 per cent of the time I let myself splurge,” Trisha says. – CHRIS DANIELS
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