Pickled Beet + Goat Cheese Salad

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When I was growing up my family always had pickled beets down in the cellar. I hated them! As an adult I thought long and hard about just what it was about them that I hated most. I discovered that it wasn't so much the flavor of the beets I didn't like, but the texture. I found out that my family recipe and most other southern recipes for canned beets involved cooking them first before you pickled them! Well that's an easy fix! Our pickled beets are not cooked at all before canning. We cold pack them raw and with some magical brine + spices! They ARE NOT mushy and now I love them! We also julienne them so you can easily add them to salads or pile them high onto burgers or BBQ sandwiches!

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I have to tell you that I often times feel like a bunny rabbit when it comes to greens and lettuces. I just can't stop nibbling on them! I eat at least one salad a day. I ain't talking about ice burg lettuce, though; It has it's time and place (like on a salad bar with some croutons, bacon bits and shredded cheddar), but when I'm building salads up for myself at home I like to get the biggest nutrient bang for my buck! I love mixing more common lettuces like red leaf with dense greens. In this salad I mixed red leaf with both kale and swiss chard! There's even dill in this recipe, which I adapted from the Cooks with Cocktails blog!

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To create the Pickled Beet + Goat Cheese Salad you need:

  • 3 Cups of chopped red leaf lettuce
  • 2 Cups of chopped swiss chard, excluding the stems (which I saved on the side to pickle)
  • 1 Cup of chopped kale
  • 1 Jar of Ginger Spiced Pickled Beets
  • 1/2 Cup of crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 Tb finely minced fresh dill 
  • 4 Tb Olive oil
  • 4 Tb Balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tb of brine from the Ginger Spiced Pickled Beets
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 Cup pecans
  • 1 Tb Maple Syrup

Instructions:

  1. First I preheated my oven to 350.
  2. On a cookie sheet that I lined with parchment paper I added the pecans and the maple syrup. With my hands I mixed them together and then spread the pecans over the sheet evenly. 
  3. Bake them for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  4. In a large bowl I added the lettuce, kale, swiss chard, dill, the whole jar of Ginger Spiced Pickled Beets (excluding the brine) and the pecans and tossed it to combine.
  5. In one of my left over 1/2 pint mason jars I added the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and beet brine! Then I slapped the lid on and shook it! 
  6. Next I dressed the salad and tossed it again. Each person kinda likes a different amount of dressing so if you have left overs that's cool too! 
  7. That's it! Enjoy! For me this salad served 5 of us in a normal sized salad bowl.
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