Beet Salad with Spinach and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Found on the website “The Spruce Eats”, Diana Rattray tested and wrote this recipe.
Servings: 4-6
For the Salad:
Pecan halves, or Walnuts, toasted, optional
2 to 3 slices Bacon, diced, or 3 ounces diced Pancetta
1 pound Beets, cooked, peeled, and diced
4 cups Spinach
1/4 cup Red onion, thinly sliced
Shredded Cheese, or crumbled Goat cheese or Feta, optional
For the Dressing:
1 clove Garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground Black pepper
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard, or a similar gourmet mustard
4 Tablespoons Honey
1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup Olive oil
1. Gather the ingredients.
2. Arrange the pecans or walnuts in a dry skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until the nuts are lightly browned and aromatic.
3. In a skillet over medium heat, fry the diced bacon until crisp or fry the pancetta until browned.
4. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool.
5. Dice the cooled bacon and set aside.
6. Arrange spinach leaves on 4 salad plates. Top with diced beets, diced bacon or pancetta, red onion, and pecans or walnuts. If desired, top with cheese.
7. In a bowl or blender, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Whisk or blend in the olive oil in a steady stream.
8. Drizzle the dressing over the salad or serve on the side.
Boiled Beets:
To boil beets, first start by washing and trimming the beets, leaving about 2 inches of the stem and root ends. Place the beets in a large saucepan and cover with salted water (about 1 teaspoon of salt per quart). Add a few teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice to the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets.
Roasted Beets: To roast beets, first wash the beets and trim, leaving an inch or two on the stem and root ends. Rub the beets with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper; wrap in foil and bake at 375 F. for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. The time varies depending on the size of the beets. Beets can also be roasted in a slow cooker–refer to directions for your particular model.

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