Following a vacation that included 2 Thanksgiving dinners, constant snacking, excessive drinking and enough football to induce reality TV withdrawals I am in desperate need of spinach and beet detox. Enter this salad.
Until recently I had never had beets. I wasn’t even sure what they were. I think beets are overlooked by many people, not only us. Our friends Amanda and Kyle, who we saw over Thanksgiving in California, told us about beets. Apparently it’s a food they eat regularly. Who knew? Also, I’m watching RHOBH (along with The Voice and Teen Mom 2…finally!) as I type and the girls just ordered beet salads in Ojai. Maybe beets are trending right now?
We prepared our beets in a salad along with butternut squash, then we added goat cheese for creaminess, pistachios for crunch and bacon…well because bacon was necessary. It ended up being a colorful salad and I felt good about eating it. Personally, I thought the beets tasted like water chestnuts. They are definitely a food that you can slip into salads and not even realize they’re there. I’m not picturing beets becoming a food that I crave anytime in the near future but I am intrigued enough to try them again and to look for other ways to prepare them.
4 cups baby spinach
3 slices bacon
1 cup butternut squash, diced
¼ cup goat cheese, broken into pieces
¼ cup pistachios
For the Vinaigrette
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons bacon fat
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a large baking sheet toss butternut squash and beets lightly in olive oil. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil. Bake squash for 30 minutes and beets for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool.
While the beets and squash are cooking, pan fry the bacon slices until crisp. Break bacon into small pieces.
Whisk dressing ingredients together and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
Once beets have cooled, remove from foil and cut into small pieces. On a serving dish arrange baby spinach, pistachios, bacon pieces and crumbled goat cheese. Add the beets and squash and lightly dress with vinaigrette right before serving.
Source: a Live Love Pasta original