Summer Salad

I have made this salad 3 times in these last, dog days [week] of summer. This afternoon at work it was almost all I could think about. YUM.

I make variations all during the year, but the ingredients are best in summer and just can’t compare:

Summer Salad

The key is really fresh ingredients. Pictured here is farmers market lettuce, radishes, and beets. Until about a year ago you couldn’t have paid me to eat a beet.

But my husband is a big fan – he always adds them to his salad when we go to a place with a salad bar. We were at a more posh restaurant about a year ago and he ordered a beet and goat cheese salad and convinced me to try it – I’m making an effort of trying all foods (within my pescetarian focus) many times in multiple ways until I find a way I like the food (a la Jeffrey Steingarten). And surprise, I liked them!

I still can’t stomach the pickled version.  These are roasted. I bought 3 beets at the market and brought them home. Cut off the tops (I’m playing with how to use the beet greens we did they them in a pesto which was good), slather them in olive oil, and put them in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. For full instructions try this great step-by-step from one of my favorite food blogs theKitchn. Summer beets have this amazing sweetness to them – SO GOOD. Just be careful – they stain like crazy!

That one item on the cutting board that might be stumping you? Jicama. I know, what? My husband bought it for a recipe earlier this summer and to use the rest of it, we tried it in salad and fell in love. I’ve found it described as similar to an apple or the Mexican water chestnut – both of which are pretty good descriptors. Just remove the outside peel and chop up. It gves a great texture to the salad!

To top off the salad I added almonds and a farmers cheese I shredded. You could choose what cheese you want – but this is the best pairing I’ve found. The cheese is not overpowering like a cheddar could be. Plus right now, (bonus!) the cheese we are using for salads was free from the cheese people that were next to us last weekend at a beerfest!

Then I dressed the salad in my homemade balsamic vinaigrette (honey, mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, & pepper).

Best. Salad. Ever.

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