Roasted Red and Yellow Beet Salad with Maytag Blue Cheese
Salade de betteraves au fromage bleu Maytag
Around the holidays, grocery stores will stack loads of canned beets next to the canned pumpkin and cranberry jelly. Unfortunately, those canned beets are the only kind a lot of us have eaten. But I tell you there is more to beets than meets the eye. Do you like how that rhymes? Really, fresh beets taste vastly different from those that come from a can. I bought some beautiful yellow and red beets and I decided to make a warm salad with them. Roasting the beets took a long time – 2 hours, as these were large beets. I could’ve boiled them, but roasting really helps to concentrate the flavor and these roasted beets don’t beat around the bush. Ha! That’s another one. Okay, no more silliness – for now.
To be honest, I first heard of Maytag blue cheese from watching Emeril. You know how he is, he’d make all these crazy moans and grunts while holding this cheese that I thought I’d give it a try. That was five years ago and what a great five years it’s been! This cheese has a deep, bold flavor and a smooth, creamy texture. I think it’s one of the best blue cheeses made in the U.S. In this dish, the intense flavor and sweetness of the roasted beets balance this cheese so well. I added some toasted walnuts for extra flavor and a nutty texture.
And yes, Maytag as in the washer and dryer brand. It was developed by the grandsons of the Maytag Founder. The dairy farm and cheese caves are still located near Newton, Iowa near the appliance factory. I think it’s no longer part of the Maytag appliance corporation. Nevertheless, they’ve made quality appliances and quality cheese. These Maytags really are something.
INGREDIENTS ( 2 servings):
- 2 med-large yellow beets
- 2 med-large red beets
- 3 oz. (a small wedge) maytag blue cheese
- 1/2 cup of walnuts or pecans
- walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- balsalmic vinegar or good red wine vinegar
- dijon mustard (I like the Maille brand)
- fresh chives, finely chopped
- Cut the green tops off the beets (you can chop them and sauté for another dish)
- Place the whole beets, unpeeled on a foil-lined baking sheet and cover them with foil.
- Bake them at 400F until a knife inserted has no resistance. Remove from the oven
- Make the vinaigrette by combining 1 part vinegar + 3 parts oil +1 tsp. dijon mustard+ S&P, set aside
- Toast the walnuts (either on the stove top or toaster oven) – be careful as they can burn easily
- When the beets have cooled a bit, but are still warm – peel the skins off. (Wear latex or plastic gloves to prevent dying your hands red)
- Slice the beets and arrange them on your plate. Crumble the blue cheese over the beets.
- Drizzle the dish with the vinaigrette and garnish with chives and walnuts