Summer Beet and Kale Salad

This salad came together through scavenging our fridge for components. We initially picked up a bunch of beets at the farmer’s market last Saturday with the intention of making a beet and chevre salad, but there was a shortage of good goat cheese in the market :(. Instead, we took a look at everything else we had and made a pretty tasty substitute. The preparation for the beets takes a little bit of time since they have to roast for a couple of hours, but they are low maintenance and don’t require much attention. Otherwise, this is a very simple salad to put together and it’s downright delicious. The combination of the mellowed, roasted beets, the fresh spinach and crisp kale melds well together and in the end you have a nontraditional salad that is perfect for summer.

Summer Beet and Kale Salad – serves 3

4 large beets; 4 cups spinach; 1/2 cup walnuts; 1/2 cup brown sugar; 1 1/2 cups kale; 8 tablespoons oil (divided); salt to taste; balsamic vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash and scrub beets to remove excess dirt. Chop off the top and bottom of beets. If they are extra large, cut the beets in half. Once the oven is ready, cover beets with half of the oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on baking sheet and allow to roast for 2 hours or until tender. Once completely cooked and cool to touch, remove skins and slice into rounds. Either serve as rounds or chop into bite sized pieces.

Afterwards, decrease oven temperature to 250°F. Rinse kale and remove ribs. Shred leaves into medium sized pieces. Toss with remaining oil and a little bit of salt and spread evenly on baking sheet. Place sheet in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, heat a small pan and add walnuts, brown sugar and a dash of salt. Heat over medium and constantly stir walnuts to glaze them. **Warning, the sugar will get stuck to your pan and you will have to soak it for a little bit afterwards. Once candied, allow to cool.

Wash spinach leaves and toss with vinaigrette (I used a store bought garlic balsamic vinaigrette). Plate spinach and add chopped beets, crumbled kale and walnuts and serve.