Mother’s Day is around the corner and what better way to celebrate than to acknowledge the wonderful women in our lives? This is a nod to my Grandmother – Tassie Mae – one of the women in my life who taught me about food, family and faith.
This salad showcases beets in a beautiful way with layers of spinach and peppery arugula, sweet blackberries, crisp slices of apple, toasted almonds and creamy honey goat cheese.
Beets were always in Tassie’s garden. She would frequently gather beets when they were young and pickle them, turning them into a modest delicacy. If you’ve never worked with beets, roasting is an easy way to prepare them that yields delicious results. It brings out a surprising depth of earthiness in this beautiful root vegetable. Wonderful as a side, they’re also an incredible addition to salads.
Then grab a handful of pantry staples and gently cook them together to create Tassie’s velvety Apple Cider Dressing. It’s tangy, sweet and creamy – perfect with this fresh salad and equally delicious tossed with fruit.
Bursting with color and flavor this salad is both simple and elegant!
Spinach and Arugula Salad with Roasted Beets and Apple Cider Dressing
2 bunches of beets, about 7- 8 medium size beets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Trim the tops and roots off the beets, peel and cut into pieces, about 2″ each. (Quick tip: wear food service gloves to prevent your hands from getting stained from the beet juice.) Toss the beets with the olive oil and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and pepper.
Roast at 400-degrees for 35-40 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes. Cook until the beets are cooked through and very tender.
Apple Cider Dressing
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 extra-large eggs, slightly beaten
In a small saucepan combine the milk, sugar, kosher salt and the cider vinegar.
The vinegar will start to turn the milk into buttermilk and look curdled. Whisk in the beaten eggs and cook over low heat, stirring frequently. Cook the dressing until it is smooth and has thickened – about 15 to 20 minutes.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Spinach and Arugula Salad with Roasted Beets
4 cups spinach and arugula mix
1 cup blackberries
1/2 to 1 whole Honeycrisp or your favorite apple, cored and sliced thin
1 to 1-1/2 cups roasted beets
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
¼ cup honey goat cheese*, crumbled
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Place the spinach and arugula in a large bowl. Layer in the blackberries, the apple slices, roasted beets, almonds and goat cheese.
Season the salad with kosher salt and black pepper. Dress with Apple Cider Dressing and serve.
*Montchevre makes a fabulous honey goat cheese. If it’s not available you can use a plain goat cheese.