This salad is a bundle of love. Serve it as a first course for someone you care about and watch him or her swoon with each bite. The heart-shaped beets add a festive touch.
The Cooking With Friends Kitchen
5 ounces Mache lettuce (or other delicate lettuce such as Boston)
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 leek, washed, chopped and roasted into crispy pieces
3 beets, peeled and sliced ½ inch in width and cut into heart shapes using a 1 ½ inch wide heart-shaped cookie cutter
1 ripe avocado, sliced
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 shallots, sliced thinly (optional)
For the Lemon Dressing (whisked together):
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
½ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
Pepper to taste
First you will want to roast the leeks and beets. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the chopped leeks in 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with desired amount of salt and bake for 30-45 minutes, turning several times throughout the baking process until the leeks are crispy. You can roast the beets at the same time but in a different baking dish. Simply drizzle some olive oil in a baking dish, lay your cut beets in the dish, sprinkle with kosher salt and roast for 30 minutes, turning once. Cool the beets and cut into heart shapes.
Combine all of the above ingredients, except for the heart shaped beets and blue cheese. Toss with the lemon dressing and plate your salad with crumbled blue cheese on top with a beet heart or two.