Get this on your plate!
I could make and eat salads every day. Next to soup, salad is my favorite thing to eat and to make.
We made this salad for friends who visited. I found myself adding things to it as I went along. Oh, I have some blueberries, let's toss those in. Cantaloupe? Let's stick that in there. The only ingredients that were planned - walnut, herb-crusted goat cheese balls, roasted beets, and lettuce.
Lettuce (I used a lettuce mix I got at the local farmers' market. Use any mix of greens you like)
3-4 Roasted beets (directions to follow)
6 oz. Goat cheese (usually one package)
0.5 cup Walnuts
0.25 cup Fresh herbs (I used a combination of thyme, parsley, chives, and tarragon - use any combo you like)
Fruit (I used a combination of blackberries from the yard, blueberries and cantaloupe from the farmers' market)
Drizzle of honey
Salad Dressing (see below)
To roast the beets - there are two methods: I usually peel my beets first, then cut them into quarters, wrap them in aluminum foil, put then on a baking sheet, and place in a 350 degree oven for about one hour. Others will put them whole and unpeeled wrapped in aluminum foil on a baking sheet and peel then once they've cooled. Do whatever you like.
To make the goat cheese balls: Put the walnuts in a food processor (I have a Cuisinart mini food processor for jobs like this) and pulse until finely chopped. Add the herbs and pulse until blended and finely chopped. Pour into a small bowl. Remove the goat cheese from the package and put it in another small bowl. Using a little bit of the goat cheese at a time (the balls are about 0.5 inches in diameter), roll it in your hand until a ball forms. Roll the goat cheese balls in the walnut/herb mixture until coated. Set aside until you are ready to add to your salad. You should end up with 10-12 small cheese balls.
To make the salad: Place lettuce in individual bowls or on a platter (as shown in my photo). I didn't specify an amount of lettuce - please use your own judgment. Cover the platter or nearly fill your bowls. I used about 4 cups of lettuce for our dinner party of five.
Add berries and fruit to the salad to your taste. Again, I did not specify an amount. Use your own judgment. I used about 0.5 cup of berries and fruit for the entire salad.
Add tomatoes. I used small yellow pear/currant tomatoes but use any you like. Add to your taste. I used about ten tomatoes.
Add roasted beets (be sure they are peeled if you roasted them without peeling first). I cut the beets into smaller pieces and added them to the salad. You may slice or dice as you like.
Place the cheese balls on the salad so they are spread out and not clustered. Drizzle a small amount of the honey over each of the cheese balls. I used about 2 tablespoons of honey altogether.
Add your dressing when you are ready to serve by drizzling over the salad. I used olive oil and a flavored balsamic vinegar (lavender or black currant). You may also use red wine vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette or another favorite. Coat to your taste.
Serve and enjoy. The salad is almost too pretty to eat. Almost....