Wednesday 2 June 2010

Green Vegetable Salad with Roasted Beetroot & Goats Cheese

With the sunshine and warmer weather finally making an appearance it initiates the start of a new range of dishes – summery salads! Salads can be dull and boring, but a salad constructed with a little care and attention can easily be the star of the meal. The weekend before last when we had such lovely weather I decided to make some salads for the family to enjoy with dinner. I had so many ideas fighting for attention in my head that I went a little salad crazy and ended up making 5 different ones! Opps. Not that it mattered as it meant we then had leftovers for lunches for the next few days – and some salads seem to get better after a day or two when all the flavours have had time to mingle and marinate together. Now the sunshine is back again, for the next few posts I’m intending to share the summery salads with you. Allow me to introduce the first one - Green Vegetable Salad with Roasted Beetroot & Goats Cheese.

This is a wonderfully fresh and vibrant summer salad. Some of the veg is steamed to maintain its freshness while others are roasted to give a more intense depth of flavour. The hot veg is then added to fresh baby spinach leaves which allow them to wilt ever so slightly without going all soft and mushy. Some very fresh herb rolled goats cheese is then scattered on top, in striking contrast to the vibrant green, red and orange of the vegetables as well as being wonderfully creamy against their fresh crispness. The juices from the roasted veg are mixed with a simple balsamic dressing and a scattering of lemon zest to really bring the salad alive.

I love how the following day the goats cheese took on a mottled effect from the beetroots juices and the dressing. Simple, summery and oh so tasty.

Green Vegetable Salad with Roasted Beetroot & Goats Cheese
125g very young soft goats cheese (the one rolled in herbs is best)
4 cooked beetroot (not pickled)
1 carrot
2 courgettes
½ head broccoli
200g fresh young spinach
6 spears of asparagus
1 lemon – zest
3 sprigs lemon thyme
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Peel the carrot and cut into 1cm slices and the courgette into 1-2cm slices. Cut the beetroot into quarters or eights if they are very big. Arrange on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the sprigs of lemon thyme.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until softened and golden brown. Stir and mix about half way through to ensure even cooking.
Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into florets and slice the asparagus into 3 on the diagonal to make long spear shaped pieces. Steam the broccoli and the asparagus for 3-4 minutes until softened and just tender, you want a bit of bite to remain.
Arrange the spinach leaves in the base of a large serving bowl. Scatter over the steamed broccoli and asparagus and the hot roasted veg. (This will make the spinach leaves wilt slightly and catch any juices given off from the veg.)
Grate over the zest of the lemon and toss gently.
Tear the goats cheese into small pieces and scatter over the top of the salad.
Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and the balsamic vinegar together and drizzle over the top of the salad.
Serve with other salads or BBQ/picnic food and crusty bread.
Serves 6


Hilary said...

This kind of salad is my boyfriend's very favourite summer dinner. If he had his way, we would eat nothing but big, chunky salads for about 3 months. Yum!

Beth (jamandcream) said...

Summer is back again...I will be trying this at the weekend

Micah | Coffee Machines said...

It look's like so Delicious,I really love veggie salad :) have a great day

Chele said...

Sounds like a very tasty salad Katie. Love the colours in it too, so summery.

Johanna GGG said...

five salads! sounds like my sort of meal - I love this first one with all the different colours and textures

The Caked Crusader said...

Lovely. I printed off your Greek salad recipe last summer and love it - will be making it (again) soon

The Muesli Lover said...

This looks delicious - and will definitely be gracing my lunch box very soon. thanks

Damian - Coffee Beans said...

What a pretty dish you presents, very tempting!

Vishal Coffee Machine said...

Yummy !! That Looks delicious, Full of different colors, would definitely try it today !! :)