Mixed Greens with Roasted Beets and Avocado Tossed with Orange-Shallot Vinaigrette

This beautiful salad represents a harmonic convergence of tastes. The spiciness of some of the greens in a spring mix is balanced by the avocado’s creamy, healthy fat, while the sweetness of the roasted beets cuts the acidic nature of the citrus dressing.If the beets vary in size, wrap them accordingly so you can remove the package of smaller ones when tender, leaving the larger ones in the oven until they are tender.

Removing the beet skins can be messy work. To lessen the mess, transfer the beets directly from the oven to a plastic bag to steam until they can be handled easily. The skins will come right off.

3medium or 5 small beets (1 to 11/4 cups small cubes), trimmed and washed
6 to 8 cups mixed salad greens, rinsed and spun dry
5 ounces organic goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
1/3 cup chopped pistachios or other nuts, toasted (optional)

Dressing

2 cups organic fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon diced shallot 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 11/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
1 Hass avocado, thinly sliced
Squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice

Preheat the oven to 425°F. wrap the beets in parchment paper, then in foil, and roast for 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on size), until tender and fragrant. Remove from the oven, cool, and peel. Cut into small cubes, thin slices, or julienne.

While the beets are roasting, make the dressing. bring the orange juice and shallots to a boil over high heat in a sauté pan. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half (about 20 minutes, but it could happen faster, so don’t wander too far). Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

Slowly whisk the oil, lemon juice, and sea salt into the orange juice. taste the dressing; you may need a spritz of lemon juice, a pinch of salt, or a few drops of maple syrup.

To assemble the salad, toss the avocado slices with the lemon juice to prevent them from browning. in a large bowl, combine the greens, avocado, and beets. Coat lightly with the dressing. arrange the salad on a plate and top with the goat cheese and toasted pistachios.

Serves 6

Per Serving Calories: 148; total Fat: 9 g (1 g saturated, 6 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 17 g; Protein: 2 g; Fiber: 4 g; sodium: 140 mg

(Photo Credit: Scott Peterson)

Reprinted with permission from One Bite at a Time. Copyright © 2009 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.