12.22.2013

Roasted beets, pears, and blue cheese holiday salad recipe

Cuz I love you. Cuz Christmas is around the corner. Cuz not everyone reads The Boston Globe where this was published last week. Cuz now I have to go back to last minute baking, shopping, wrapping, and you probably do too. 


May your days be sunny and bright
May your hearts be happy and light
Merry Christmas everyone!
(from Gene Autrey's album Merry Texas Christmas)


Salad of roasted beets, pears, blue cheese and watercress
Serves 8

Crisp bosc pears in their russet skins hold their shape well when roasted, and pair beautifully with the sharp flavor of blue cheese.  Roast some beets while you are at it, add some dark green watercress, and you end with a colorful salad worthy of a holiday celebration.

DRESSING
4 tablespoons orange juice
5 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and black pepper, to taste
9 tablespoons olive oil
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

SALAD
Oil for the baking sheet
4 bosc pears, halved, cored and cut into 3/8-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 red beets, tops and bottoms trimmed, and cut in half
2 orange beets, tops and bottoms trimmed, and cut in half
1 cup pecans
3 bunches of watercress, thick stems removed
4 ounces blue cheese, cut into thin slices

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Have on hand a pie pan.

2. With a pastry brush, brush one baking sheet with oil. Spread the pear slices on it in one layer. Brush the tops of the slices with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pear slices are lightly browned and tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Let cool. 

3. On the second baking sheet, spread the beets. Pick up the edges of the foil to loosely enclose them in a package. Bake for 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a paring knife. Open the foil and leave until cool enough to handle. Peel, and cut into wedges.

4. Decrease the oven heat to 350 degrees. On the pie pan, spread the pecans in one layer. Bake for 8 minutes, or until fragrant and toasted.

5. In a salad bowl or on a large platter, toss the watercress with half the dressing. Arrange the roasted beets and pears on top. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, and top with pecans and blue cheese. 

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