Jul 122012
 

Summer is in full force which means not only that I’m craving light and fresh meals, but also my summer wardrobe requires it.  But, we all know it’s not easy to be healthy in the summer…there’s always some sort of party or bar-b-que or happy hour (or several hours).  But next time you’re making something for a party, instead of heavy potato or pasta salad, try this light but flavorful salad of roasted green beans, beets, nectarines, and marinated goat cheese.  





This salad is perfect as either a side dish or a light main.  I took a few short cuts to make this a really quick fix. Instead of roasting my own beets, I bought already cooked fresh beets (most grocery stores have these now in the produce section).  All I had to do to put this together was wisk the dressing, roast the green beans, and slice the beets and nectarines.  Even though this salad seems simple, the flavors are anything but.  The sweet and savory aspects of this salad come together perfectly and the marinated goat cheese is truly the star.  





Nutritional highlights:  Not only is this salad low cal to help you stay in beach condition for the summer, more importantly it’s packed with a variety of awesome nutrients.  Nectarines have beta carotene (a form of Vitamin A), Vitamin C (with magical antioxidant powers), and lutein (for healthy eyes and skin).  Beets are a great natural source of folate (hope you’re reading this pregnant sister of mine!) and the phytochemical betalain.  Green beans, spinach, and arugula are also powerhouses here.  The variety in this salad is key…any time you see a meal as colorful as this one you know it’s going to be good for you!





Roasted Green Bean, Beet, and Nectarine Salad with Marinated Goat Cheese
adapted from Giada on Food Network


Ingredients

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed (I used a teaspoon of honey instead since I didn’t have this)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Salad:

  • 4 ounces goat cheese, chilled, broken into 1/2-inch chunks
  • Four 2-inch-diameter red or golden beets, tops trimmed (or buy the pre cooked ones from the produce aisle and save yourself an hour!)
  • 6 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 3 packed cups baby arugula
  • 2 nectarines, cut into thin slices 

Directions

For the dressing: Combine the oil, vinegar, apple juice (or honey), thyme, pepper, salt and garlic in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Season with additional salt and pepper.
For the salad: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the goat cheese in a medium bowl. Drizzle with just enough dressing to moisten. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
(Skip this next step if you have already cooked beets): Wrap each beet in foil. Place the beets directly onto the oven rack and roast until tender, about 50 minutes. 
Eight minutes before the beets are tender, place the green beans in a pie dish. Add the oil and a pinch each salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast the green beans alongside the beets until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Remove the foil from the beets and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut each beet into 6 to 8 wedges.
Combine the lettuces in a large bowl. Add the green beans and nectarine slices and top with the beet wedges. Sprinkle the goat cheese on top. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss until coated.

  4 Responses to “Roasted Green Bean, Beet, and Nectarine Salad with Marinated Goat Cheese”

  1. Beautiful salad with some of my favorite ingredients. I’ll be headed to my farmers market this afternoon and see what I can find. I’ve been using Trader Joe’s cooked beets for a while now. Great time saver!

  2. Just found your site on TasteSpotting – loving it! I’m trying one of your recipes for dinner tonight.

  3. This is absolutely incredible! So delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

  4. […] toasted nuts is a super quick and healthy option.  Here is a beautiful and unique salad that has roasted green beans, beets, and marinated goat cheese.  Another of my favorite combinations is heirloom tomatoes with peaches and balsamic vinegar.  […]

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