I always know when spring is coming because I start craving vegetables — as many as I can get, all thrown into one very large bowl. I realize that this recipe would probably be better later in the season when all these ingredients are fresh, but at this point, in the end of March, I can’t wait anymore. I need greens, and I need them NOW!

Beet Salad

Contributed to Savoring Leavenworth: Pairing Local Wines with Regional Recipes for Leavenworth, Peshastin and Cashmere by Executive Chef Daniel Carr and Chef de Cuisine Steve Coin, Visconti’s Ristorante.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45-60 minutes
Serves: 2

2 large red and/or golden beets
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
3 cups arugula
4 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup goat cheese, Gorgonzola OR Roquefort
1/4 cup toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut the greens off the beets, drizzle them in 1 tablespoon olive oil, wrap them in aluminum foil and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Allow to cool slightly; remove the skins and dice.
To create the dressing, mix red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil and honey.
Place the arugula in a large bowl and add the diced beets. Drizzle with the dressing, top with the aged balsamic and garnish with the goat cheese and toasted walnuts.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Ryan Patrick Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay
Ryan Patrick Vineyards Rosé
Swakane Winery Estate Rosé of Cabernet Franc