Roasted Golden Beet Salad (w/ watercress, slivered almonds, avocado, goat cheese, homemade croutons)
Makes enough for 4. (*I buy all of my supplies at Bi-Rite, they have all of this. I know Whole Foods doesn't even have everything this calls for so I suggest making a little trip to the Mission if you can).
3 medium-large golden beets (try to buy 3 that are roughly the same size so they cook the same)
2 bunches of watercress
Almond slivers (you can buy them already done in a plastic container at bi-rite)
1 good avocado
1 package of Laura Chenel goat cheese (available most everywhere)
Italian Batard for croutons if you're going to make them on your own.
Pre-heat oven to 450. Put foil on a baking pan (I use a 8x8 cake pan) and put the beets on it. Just throw them on there dirty, skins and all. Throw them in the oven for about 45-1 hour. Pull them out and cut or peel of the skins. Then cut them into rectangular cubes roughly 1 inch in length, salt them, put some freshly ground pepper on, and let it cool.
Cut off about 1/2 of the stems of the watercress and throw it all into a big bowl. Add the (somewhat cooled) beet cubes. Cut the avocado into similar sized cubes and throw that into the bowl as well. Add some salt (don't be scared with the salt - avocado and beet need a fair amount of seasoning so you can be generous, just taste as you go). Throw in as much of the almond as you see fit. Use a fork to break up the goat cheese into chunks and throw that into the bowl. Now, add a fair amount of olive oil to your mixture (I don't measure, I just throw in what looks right) and the juice of about 1/2 a lemon. Mix it all up with your hands (get dirty!!!) and taste. Need more lemon? Need more oil? Need more salt? Finish the seasoning and you're almost done.
For the croutons, just cut the bread into cubes (about 1"), put them in a pan, drizzle them with olive oil (make sure you get oil on every piece), and salt them. Then put them under the broiler until they're golden brown - just a couple of minutes so keep your eye on them.
Right before serving, add the croutons and mix them into the bowl 1 more time. If you add them too early and let them sit they can get soggy, so that's why I put em in there last.
Boom! You're done. It seems like a lot of instruction but honestly it's the easiest thing in the world and takes almost no effort.
Beets & Avocado Salad was a winner! I opted to mix the olive oil and lemon separate and just tossed it in. I had a pretty firm avocado, which turned out to be great. It's fast and easy, especially when a hungry 13 yr. old says, "Feed me, please!" For a least the next few weeks, the salad fix'ns will be on my shopping list!
Thanks David, glad it worked out for you. Amazing that a 13 year old wants more roasted beet salad! Did you make your own croutons? Were there any issues with the recipe I should know about?