Roasted beet and arugula salad

My girlfriend Jolynda was in KC a couple of weeks ago and ate at Michael Smith’s Restaurant. He has several restauants in KC, but this is his flagship and most critically acclaimed.  My blackberry was on fire the following day with calls from Jo!  She had to tell me all about her UNBELIEVABLE dinner.  The one dinner item that she couldn’t get over was the salad.  She claims that it is the BEST salad that she has ever eaten…and if you knew my friend Jo, you would know that this is a HUGE statement (she is an AMAZING and creative cook herself).  So of course, I put Michael Smith’s on my dining radar for my next trip up to KC.  In the meantime, I went to his website to learn a little more about this salad.  I was amazed to learn how unpretentious the ingredients were and how simple it seemed to be.   I made my version of this salad for my hubby a few days later.  I still can’t believe how much he loves it.  I have made it many times and yet AGAIN for our valentines celebration dinner last night.  As he was nearly licking the remaining bits from MY salad plate he said “I could eat this salad EVERYDAY and not get tired of it…”!  Almost daily he asks me if I have put this recipe on the blog yet.  This of course makes me giggle…all of my readers and fans are surely wondering the same thing!!  So here it is…BEST salad EVER!

Oh, I have yet to eat dinner at Michael Smith’s flagship, but I have been to his tapas place (Extra Virgin) next door a couple of times.  OH BABY is it a worth the $$!  I can’t say enough about his smoked oyster mushrooms and the yellowtail ceviche.  On top of that, the wine list is Top Notch.  WOWZA!!  If you are in the neighborhood, it is a must!

Two of my favorite colors--red and green!

Roasted beet and arugula salad

Servings 2-3

2-3 big handfuls of argula (or fresh spring mix)

1 roasted beet cubed

2-3 T red onion diced

1/8 c toasted pine nuts or hot candied pecans

1/8 c crumbled blue cheese (optional)

1/8-1/4 c dried cranberries

freshly ground black pepper

chipotle pepper flakes

1/2 T evoo

1-2 T Basalmic Vinegar

Put all ingredients into a big salad bowl with a lid.  Shake it like crazy.  Serve!

Bon Appetit!

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