I made this salad while B was still visiting, using a recipe from our medical cooking class elective. I wanted to be romantic and go on a picnic. The time it took to make the food and drive to two parks to find a picnic spot to took way longer than the 5 minutes it took to wolf down our late lunch when we sat down.
And then a giant dog came over to steal our food. But it’s ok, it was still romantic in its own way. And I, dorky medical student, am the queen of romanticism, of course.
Autumn Beet Salad with Pears and Blue Cheese
4 small beets, stems trimmed, gently washed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 lb bacon, cut into 1-inch slices
2 1/2 cups mixed greens
2 Bartlett pears, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup blue cheese
3-4 Tbsp. Sherry Vinaigrette, recipe below
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the beets on a square of foil, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Wrap them in the foil and bake until tender, 45-60 minutes. Allow them to cool, then peel and cut each beet into eights.
Place the bacon lardons in a large pan and cook over medium heat until just rendered and barely crisp, about 4 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
In a medium bowl, toss the mixed greens with the salt, pepper and vinaigrette to taste.
Place a mound of salad on each plate. Scatter the beets, pears, lardons and pecans around and arrange a wedge of cheese on each plate.
1/2 shallot, minced
6 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
6 extra virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, combine the shallot, thyme, and a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the sherry vinegar and let macerate for 10 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste.