Fresh beets from a local garden were hard to resist, roasted with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and cracked pepper, yum! The combinations are endless with these rich dark beauties, which were the inspiration for this main salad, pairing them with brussel sprouts, which are also delicious when roasted. Minus the goat cheese, this was a flavourful vegan meal, my son had zero complaints about being my guinea pig.
- 3 large beets
- 16 brussel sprout, sliced in half
- spinach or mixed greens
- vine tomatoes or heirloom
- fresh goat cheese (chevre) or feta
- green onions
- pesto – homemade (recipe to follow) or store-bought
- white wine vinegar
- pumpkin seeds
- Extra-firm Tofu, diced and sprinkled on top for a vegan option
- 1 cup firmly packed basil
- garlic, at your discretion, I happen to love lots, but its a personal choice, start with two large cloves.
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, or vegan equivalent
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil – enough to make a sauce-like consistency
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, walnuts or cashews
- salt and pepper to taste
I happen to love basil, it’s fresh and in abundance during the summer, pesto is a great way to take advantage of this sweet fragrant herb. The beauty of this recipe is that you can free form it, use above as a guide, double, triple, or substitute ingredients (i.e., cilantro or Italian parsley, instead of basil, or experiment with different hard cheeses) as needed.
Using a food processor, add the basil (stems and leaves), pine nuts, and garlic, whirl around until it’s a fine consistency. Pour enough EVOO into the work bowl pulsing until you achieve a thick sauce, adjusting to your preference. Remove and add salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Preheat oven to 400 degrees; peel beets and cut into quarters, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Set the timer to 20 minutes, test for doneness; they should still have a bite to them. Repeat with brussel sprouts, this time, placing them straight on the cookie sheet so as to brown evenly.
If this is the main course, I like to plate individually, as well, this can be served family-style on a platter. Starting with your greens, add a large handful or more, then add beets and brussel sprouts, crumble over with goat cheese, add quartered tomatoes, green onions, pumpkin seeds, and finally drizzle with pesto (your dressing, which has been further thinned with a bit of white wine vinegar). Add your tofu if not using goat cheese. You could add more to this, why not? Avocados, orange segments, green beans, sauteed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, the add ons are endless…have fun with this!
serves 2 as a main.