Roasted Beets by Mike

Have you ever had an unforgettable salad? Are you looking for a delicious way to make your meals healthier? Look no further than our friend Mike’s sexy salad recipe! An important note from Mike on a quick substitute, “I can’t wait for you to make it. I changed the candied pecans because most people don’t have Aleppo pepper in their pantry. My pantry is a little different than most. I added chili flakes instead. Still delicious. They’re like “crack.”  I’m on a 12 step to wing myself off of them…”

Ingredients: 
3 bunches of small to medium beets, tops trimmed and scrubbed OR 3 small packages cooked beets, sliced to save time
3 tablespoon EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced  
Baby salad greens such as spinach, mixed greens or arugula 
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese 

Honey balsamic dressing 
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
1/4 cup canola oil 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
2 tablespoons honey 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
1 clove garlic, minced 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Candied pecans 
1/2 cup white sugar 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 tablesppon chili flakes (add less if you like it less spicy) 
1 egg white 
1 tablespoon water 
1 lb pecan halves (you could also use almonds, pine nuts, walnuts etc.) 

Instructions: 

Candied pecans: 
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F  
Mix sugar, cinnamon, chili flakes, and salt together in a bowl. 
Whisk egg white and water together in a separate bowl until frothy. Toss pecans in the egg white mixture. Mix sugar mixture into pecan mixture until pecans are evenly coated. Spread coated pecans onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until pecans are evenly browned, 1 hour.  As they cool, they will harden and candy. 

Salad:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F 
Rub the outside of each beet with some of the olive oil then place beets in roasting pan. Pour 1 cup of water into roasting pan. Cover with foil. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until beets can be easily pierced with a knife. Let cool, peel and slice. 

Honey-balsamic vinaigrette:
While the beets are roasting, whisk together ingredients for dressing. Refrigerate until needed.  (You can also put all the ingredients into a blender too.) 
In a bowl, combine sliced, cooled beets and red onion. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the dressing and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes so the beets absorb some of the dressing and the onions soften up slightly. 

Place greens on a platter. 

Top with beet/onion combination, a little more of the vinaigrette, and then sprinkle candied pecans and goat cheese over the top.

Serve immediately. Enjoy!