Beet and Apple Salad with Chevre Cheese, eh

This salad was created in honour of my high school’s Grad Class of 1969, and the many New Year’s get-togethers we’ve had over the years.

What’s in it?

Dressing

1 TBSP apple cider vinegar 2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP white sugar
1⁄4 tsp Fleur de Sel
1 tsp lemon pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salad

Four to six medium-large beets, chopped
Two large Granny Smith apples, chopped
One 150 gram package of plain Chevre goat cheese Fleur de Sel and Lemon Pepper

Options:

One medium-sized shallot, finely chopped, soaked for one hour in 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp sugar
Zest of one lemon, finely chopped

Here’s how you do it

Roasting Beets

Set oven to 400 F – roast beets for 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours

Lightly wash the beets, place in a roasting pan

Add one cup of water to the bottom of the pan

Roast for 45 minutes; check for doneness. Add more water to bottom of the pan. Continue roasting, check every 15 minutes until beets are cooked.

Beets should be firm, yet not too soft. Let cool until they can be handled.

Remove the skin from the beets, and chop them into 1-inch square pieces. Place the beets in a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients.

A handy alternative

Purchase some Alymer’s Rosebud Beets, drain the liquid, and … well … you’ve saved yourself a lot of time. These beets are almost as good as the homemade version.
Peel, core and chop the apples in 1⁄2-inch square pieces. Place in bowl with the beets.
While the beets are roasting, prepare the dressing.

Add apple cider vinegar, whisk in Dijon mustard and sugar. Add salt and pepper, whisk lightly. Slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil into the mixture, continually whisking the mixture until it is thickened. This makes approximately 1⁄2 cup of dressing.

Using a spatula, gently toss 2 TBSP of dressing into the beet and apple mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for half an hour.

Break the Chevre goat cheese into chunks about the size of the apple pieces. Reserve four or five chunks of the cheese for the top of the salad.

Toss the cheese into the beet and apple mixture.

If adding shallots and/or lemon zest, drain the shallots, add these items now.

Add 1 to 2 TBSP more of the dressing, toss mixture and let sit for one-to-two-hours.
Taste when ready to serve. The salad should be a combination of tart, sweet, salty and peppery. No flavour should overpower the other.

Place the salad in a serving bowl, and decorate with the remaining chunks of Chevre goat cheese.

*The Class of 1969 was the last grade 12 class to graduate from Terrace, British Columbia’s Skeena High School, which became a Junior High in 1970. Caledonia Secondary School replaced good old Skeena High.

We are all honoured to know that Jim Vallance and his songwriting partner Brian Adams wrote a song called “The Summer of ’69”. Some of the lyrics are based on Jim’s experiences in good old Terrace, B.C.