Roasted Beets, Spicy Walnuts, Blueberries And Goat Cheese Salad
For the Beets:
4 large beets, trimmed and washed
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Spice mixture for nuts:
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Glaze for walnuts:
1 cup walnut halves, toasted and cooled
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
For the Dressing:
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 cup orange segments, juice reserved
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Salad:
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (white and green parts)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
6 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 pint blueberries
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a roasting pan with heavy-duty foil and place beets inside. Drizzle the beets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with aluminum foil and crimp the edges of the foil to seal the beets in. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins, then cut the beets into wedges.
Combine the spices (sugar, salt, cinnamon, cayenne, paprika) in a small bowl and set aside.
Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment and set aside. Place the butter, brown sugar and water into a large non-stick pan over medium heat and heat until the mixture bubbles. Add the walnuts and toss to coat them in the glaze. Season the nuts with the reserved spice mixture. Dump the nuts onto the prepared sheet and spread out to cool (Note: Nuts may be made 1 week ahead and stored in an airtight container).
In a bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar, reserved orange juice, zest, salt, pepper and mustard. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until blended. Taste the dressing and adjust the amount of salt, pepper and oil to taste.
In another bowl, combine the warm beets, vinaigrette, salt, pepper, scallions and half of the mint. Toss to coat and let stand for about 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the beet mixture and the remaining mint and toss to mix. Garnish with the crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, blueberries and orange segments serve immediately.