Winter in California is the season for peppery arugula. Several years ago my parents planted some arugula in their garden and for years the arugula would re-seed itself, taking over the entire garden with a flourish, starting in December.
While mature arugula can be almost too intense to eat raw (best for left for cooking), young baby arugula is perfect for salads, and can easily be found in markets these days.
In this recipe the goat cheese mellows the pepperiness of the arugula, while the beets offer a sweet contrast to the arugula’s bitter notes. Chopped toasted walnuts add a meaty crunch to the salad.
2 medium beets, cooked (roasted* or boiled**) until a fork easily goes in one (about an hour), peeled, diced into bite-sized pieces
2 handfuls (about 2.5 ounces) fresh baby arugula
4 Tbsp goat cheese (about 1.5 ounces)
1/4 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dry powdered mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
* To roast beets, scrub raw beets clean, coat with a little olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, and roast in 400°F oven for 1 to 2 hours, until fork tender
** To boil beets, scrub raw beets clean, put in small pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 min to an hour, until fork tender http://fotoclubby.com