Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Roast Beet, Persimmon & Chickpea Salad with Chèvre

The vibrant jewel-toned colours of magenta beets, sunny persimmons, golden chickpeas, bright green arugula and tangy herbed goat cheese play off each other deliciously in this fabulous Mediterranean-inspired salad. The perfect antidote for the drab days of winter, the bolt of colour from sweet earthy roasted beets, soft persimmons and the chunks of creamy chèvre balance perfectly with the nutty flavour and buttery texture of the chickpeas. Nestled on a bed of peppery wild arugula and dressed with a simple vinaigrette, this wildly flavourful and nutritious salad is great on its own or served alongside some simply grilled fish or seafood.

Roasted Beet, Persimmon, Chickpea & Arugula Salad with Chèvre 
Serves 4

3 small beets, washed and leafy tops removed
1 persimmon, peeled and sliced
3 cups arugula
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
8 oz Woolwich Dairy herbed goat cheese, crumbled
Maldon sea salt, for garnish

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, minced
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Maldon salt, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wrap each of the beets in aluminum foil and bake for at least an hour, or until a knife passes easily through the centre. Allow them to cool, then using plastic gloves, peel the skins off. Cut the beets into small wedges and place in a bowl. To make the vinaigrette, add the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon and minced garlic together in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Season with fresh cracked black pepper to taste. To serve, arrange the arugula, beets, sliced persimmon and chickpeas on a serving dish and drizzle with some vinaigrette. Garnish with the goat cheese and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt for extra zing.