Roast Beef and Roasted Beet Salad with Cashews and Dried Cranberries (Serves 1 or 2)
Making a salad with cold roast beef never occurred to me until the day roast beef was the only protein choice in my refrigerator. Even then it was probably only that the roast beef was sitting next to a container of fresh greens that gave me the idea. Then it dawned on me that I could roast some beets and cut them up with the beef to make a nice cold salad. I added some chopped onion and dried cranberries for flavor and cashews to increase the fat content and it was great. I made so many the first week that I had to put another roast in the slow cooker and buy more beets. Since the original, I’ve made this salad with cold roast beef and olives and with raw carrots, but my favorite is with beets.
Salad assembly time: 5 minutes
Roasted beets: 1 hour
Slow cooker beef: 8 hours
3 big beet roots (see recipe for roasting below)
3-4 big handfuls of fresh greens
1 small sweet yellow onion
1 big handful of cashews (mine were roasted and salted)
1 handful of dried cranberries (infused with apple juice for sweetness)
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar (mine was infused with lemon)
Palm-size portion of cold roast beef (click here for recipe)
Directions: Peel roasted beets, chop into bite size pieces, and add to mixing bowl. Peel and chop onion into bite-size pieces. Add fresh greens, onion, cashews, and dried cranberries to bowl. Add a good dusting of salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add a light dusting of cayenne pepper. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar generously over ingredients in the bowl. Add bite-size pieces of roast beef to bowl and then mix everything together to distribute spices and to coat ingredients with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Eat from mixing bowl or subdivide into serving bowls if you are sharing.
Preparing roasted beets is simple, but I like to do make them a day in advance. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut tap root and tops off beets and rinse clean. Wrap each beet in a square of aluminum foil and place wrapped beets in a baking pan. Place in oven and let roast for 60 minutes. At the end of the hour, remove from oven and let cool on stove top until you can comfortably move them into the refrigerator. Let the beets chill over night still wrapped in aluminum foil. The next day, or when cool, move the beets to the sink to remove foil because they may be juicy. The peel comes off roasted beets easily; just rub the peel vigorously and it will slide off. Use a knife to cut off any stubborn spots and then your beets are ready to cut into bite-size pieces.
Note: All kinds of slow cooker roast beef works well in salads, but my favorite is loin tip roast because it is so lean. A roast with richer fat content like chuck roast works, but the lean cuts fit a salad better.
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