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
- 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
- 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