Chilled Beet Salad with Cucumber and Fresh Goat Cheese

Beat the heat with a refreshing summer salad of sweet, chilled beets, cool, crunchy cucumbers and fresh, crisp lettuce. A few crumbles of creamy, tangy goat cheese make the salad irresistible. Serves 4.

 For the Vinaigrette (makes 1/4 cup)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
pinch of sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil. Refrigerate (up to 1 week) until ready to serve.

For the Salad

2 medium beets
¼ cup White Wine Vinaigrette (see recipe) or your favorite vinaigrette
1 teaspoon chopped, fresh dill
2 cups salad mix
1 cucumber, halved and sliced
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

  1. Place the beets in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Weigh the beets down (they tend to float) with a heat proof plate that fits inside the saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the beets are tender when pierced with a small paring knife, about 45 minutes, longer for large beets. Drain, let cool and refrigerate. (Cooked beets will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator).
  2. Peel, halve and slice the chilled beets. Place the sliced beets in a small bowl and toss them with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, cucumber and remaining vinaigrette.
  4. Divide the lettuce mixture among 4 serving plates. Arrange the beets in the center of each pile of lettuce and garnish with the goat cheese.

Grilled Steak Salad: Make an easy meal by adding sliced, grilled sirloin or flank steak to the salad. Or, instead of steak, try grilled salmon or chicken—both pair beautifully with beets and cucumbers.

Tip for peeling beets: With a paper towel in each hand, rub the skin off each beet. The paper towels keep your hands from turning bright red (if you’re peeling red beets) and do a beautiful job of taking off the skin while maintaining the contour of the beet.

 

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