Listening to this week's Splendid Table Podcast featured an interview with Elizabeth Millard on how to grow microgreens right on your kitchen counter. Turns out that it's actually super easy to do. Microgreens have such wonderful flavors, are super tender and have a ton of nutrition packed into a little green. This reminded me how much fun they can be, and inspired this salad which puts them right in the middle of a bunch of awesome components. This warm beet salad has all the elements that I love: sweetness from the beets, freshness the microgreens, creamy from the goat cheese, salty from the bacon, acidity from the vinaigrette and nuttiness from the toasted pine nuts. Warming the beets through with bacon fat really adds a ton of flavor that complements the sweetness so well.
There are quite a few ways to cook beets. The most flavorful result is probably to roast them with aromatics, but you can also simply throw them in a steamer on the stove. They cook really quickly with no hassle. The beet color will get on anything it touches, so I usually use a black cutting board and wear gloves when peeling and cutting them.
- 2 medium beets rinsed and scrubbed clean
- 1 oz micro greens
- 2 slices of thick-cut bacon
- ¼ cup pine nuts toasted
- 1 oz goat cheese
For the Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon shallot finely minced
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- For the beets: Place the beets in a steamer until they are tender and you can easily pierce them with a paring knife (about 30 minutes depending on the size). Let the beets cool slightly and cut a slice off the top and bottom. Using a paper towel, peel the skin off the beets (use gloves to avoid coloring your hands). Cut the beets into 1" pieces.
- While the beets are cooking, place the bacon on a aluminum foil lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until the bacon is crispy, about 20 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to cool, then roughly chop it. Reserve the bacon fat.
- For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients except for the oil to combine, then slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify the vinaigrette.
- In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of bacon fat with the beets on medium heat to warm through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
- To plate: Place a portion of the micro greens in the center of the plate and surround it with the beets. Sprinkle the bacon, goat cheese, pine nuts and vinaigrette on top.
If you like microgreens and sprouts, be sure to check out my Sunflower Sprout + Tomato Salad recipe.