There's something about the color combinations of vibrant green combined with varying shades of gold and touches of deep red that remind me of early fall..........
and honestly, with as miserably hot as it's been for the past few weeks in this area of the country, I am definitely ready for a hint of fall. Maybe that's why I decided to make a salad with this yellow/red mix of colors. I had some delicious local peaches, a few lovely golden heirloom tomatoes from the garden, a mango and some pre-packaged roasted red beets. With such a potentially yummy combination of cast members, this Golden Salad with Beetroot, Spinach, Gorgonzola and a Mango/Cilantro Vinaigrette was just screaming to be created. I added the creamy Gorgonzola to offset the sweetness of the fruit and the dressing, then sprinkled toasted pecans to add a nice crunch. Without further ado, I present this salad to you in all it's delicious glory!
Golden Salad with Beetroot, Spinach, Gorgonzola and Mango-Cilantro Vinaigrette
8 cups fresh spinach
1 large or 2 medium yellow heirloom tomatoes
1 large or 2 medium fresh ripe peaches, diced (with skin on)
2 medium roasted beets*, diced
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Mango Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1. Divide spinach among 4 plates. Scatter tomatoes, peaches and beetroot evenly over salad. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola and toasted pecans. Drizzle with Mango Vinaigrette and serve immediately.
*You can find pre-packaged roasted beets at many stores now days. In my area, Whole Foods, Trader Jo's, and Fresh Market carry them.
If you want to roast your own; rinse them well and place on a large sheet of foil. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Fold foil around the beets and crimp the sides to make a packet.
Roast beets until tender; the time will vary depending on the size of the beets and how fresh they are (fresher beets cook faster). For smaller beets, start checking them for tenderness at about 25 minutes. Larger and older beets can take up to an hour.
Remove beets from oven when tender. Let sit until cool enough to handle. When beets are cool, slip their peels off. You can use a paring knife but it is easy to remove the peels with just a rub of your fingers.
1 mango, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
juice from 1 medium size lime, about 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro4 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse, grainy mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oilsea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1.Cut the mango flesh away from the pit and chop the mango coarsely. Place mango and all other ingredients, except oil, salt, and pepper, in a the bowl of a food processor or blender; puree until smooth.
2.With the machine running, drizzle in oil. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.