Now that the Christmas feasting is over, we could all use something a little lighter for dinner, yes? Beet and mâche salad is perfect. Pick up some beautiful golden beets, if you can find them, reserving the greens for another use. Roast them, toss them with mache in a simple vinaigrette, top them with some toasted walnuts and crumbled blue cheese, and you’re all set.
Mâche is my favorite salad green — it’s tender and mild, and pairs perfectly with an acidic vinaigrette, a light creamy dressing, or even just a squeeze of lime juice and some sliced avocado. This particular salad works well with any blue cheese (I used gorgonzola because we already had it), goat cheese, or even hard-boiled egg. Served with a slice of crusty bread, it’s hearty enough for a nice, light dinner. And, if your Christmas feast was anything like mine, that exactly what you could use tonight!
Beet and Mâche Salad
Based on this recipe for Salade de Bettereve et de Mâche from Mariquita Farm
2-4 beets, depending on size
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp walnut oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oz mâche or other tender greens
2 oz. blue cheese or goat cheese, crumbled, or 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°. Trim and scrub the beets, reserving the greens for another use, and wrap in foil. Place in a baking dish and roast for 30 minutes to an hour (depending on size), or until tender. Cool, remove from foil, and rub with paper towels to remove skins. Slice thinly.
Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, walnut oil, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.*
Toss the mâche and sliced beets with dressing to taste and divide among plates. Top with toasted walnuts and cheese or hard-boiled egg and serve.
* This makes plenty of extra dressing, so just refrigerate it for another use. Bring it to room temperate and whisk it to re-emulsify before using.