I've been craving spring for weeks now, but the weather around here has been a tease at best. Yesterday was the first Saturday with the slightest semblance of spring, so I headed up to the Union Square Greenmarket in hopes of finding asparagus, ramps, and maybe even some fiddleheads...
Not surprisingly, I was disappointed with the same old root veggies that the vendors have been hawking all winter, but the sprout vendor seemed to have an unusually large selection of sprouts, and I found a delightful bleu goat cheese. My mind was already assembling the beginnings of a schizophrenic salad, dreaming of a day soon when the stalls will be overflowing with tender green goodness.
So it's Sunday, gloomy and cold again. On goes the oven and in go a head of aging garlic I had sitting around, and a couple beets. Meanwhile my mind is being tantalized by the baby greens in the fridge and some bright yellow lemons. Torn between a winter salad and spring salad, I came to a delicious compromise.
A layer of sweet roast beets with a layer of crisp juicy apple topped with some mizuna, cress and miner lettuce that are dressed in a mellow garlic lemonette (lemon+vinaigrette) all topped with some salty barnyardy bleu goat cheese and some crunchy candied walnuts. Wow, that was a mouthful, but so is the flavor of this salad:-)
- Put the foil wrapped beet(s) and garlic on a baking sheet in a 375 degree oven. The garlic will be done in about 35 minutes, but the beets will need at least an hour (or until you can stick a knife all the way through).
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Peel the beet and slice into 1/8" thick slices. Dress the beets with enough dressing to coat.
- To assemble the salad, just put down 3 pieces of beet on a plate, put 1 or 2 slices of apple on top. Lightly dress the greens with some of the dressing (you won't need it all), and place a handful of greens on top of the beets and apple. Top with some crumbled bleu goat cheese, candied walnuts and some fresh ground pepper.