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Mixed Green and Roasted Beet Salad with Gorgonzola, Pear and Arugula (Gluten-Free)
Gorgonzola is a veined Italian blue cheese, made from unskimmed cow's and/or goat's milk.
Contrary to popular belief, Gorgonzola, or blue cheese does NOT contain gluten. These days, blue cheese is no longer made with mold from stale bread as a starter, as it was once upon a time. The molds used to make commercial Gorgonzola and blue cheese are isolated for purity, and cultured in sterile conditions. They are gluten-free. That means that most people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance are free to eat most all blue cheeses.
To celebrate that fact, I recently prepared a delicious beet salad with Gorgonzola, pear and arugula, which is one of my summer favorites. I just couldn't wait for summer to get started.
This recipe makes a tasty, refreshing salad that will turn heads and delight tastebuds.
3 red beets, peeled, roasted and diced
1 firm Bosc or D'Anjou pear, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola or mild blue cheese
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
4 ounces of mixed lettuce, washed
2 ounces arugula, washed
1 seedless tangerine, peeled
⅓ cup walnuts, halved, optional
Heat oven to 350° F.
Wash the beets, leave them wet, and wrap each one in foil. Arrange beets in roasting pan or on baking sheet; bake 90 minutes or until tender. Test by opening the foil and poking with a thin knife.
Note: I often make my beets ahead of time, or make more beets than I need, then dice and refrigerate so I can make more salad later.
Leave beets covered and allow to cool on a plate.
Dice beets and pear pieces, and toss with lemon juice in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine oil, vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, shallot, salt, and pepper. Whisk these together until blended.
Make sure beets and pears are at room temperature.
Place roughly chopped greens and arugula in a bowl.
Top with pears, beets, tangerine slices, and cheese, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Add walnuts as desired.
Serve alongside your favorite burger or steak.
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams