The secret to the best roasted beets...and how to serve them in the most delicious salad!
To make the beats: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the top of the beets to leave about 1 inch; do not trim the root. Wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil and place them on a sheet pan. (For extra flavorful beets: line the sheet pan with foil and top with 1-2 cups coarse kosher salt. Place the foil wrapped beets on top of this salt.) Roast them for 50-60 minutes (depending on their size) or until a small sharp knife can easily be inserted in the middle. Unwrap each beet and set aside to cool. Peel the skin off of the beets and then slice. (Tip: peel and slice the beets on parchment paper to prevent staining your cutting board. Use gloves to avoid staining your hands!)
While the beets are roasting prepare the dressing by combining the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, orange juice + orange zest, dijon mustard, and about 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste). Toss the chopped beets with 1 tablespoon of the dressing, cover, and place in the fridge to marinate while preparing the rest of the salad.
While the beets cool, prepare the candied almonds. In a large skillet, add the sliced almonds and white sugar. Place the heat to medium-high and stir near constantly. The sugar will begin to melt and become a sticky liquid and then stick to the almonds. This takes about 3-4 minutes -- watch carefully and stir near constantly to avoid burning the nuts.
Dump the candied almonds onto a sheet of parchment paper and let harden. Break apart.
In another bowl, add the arugula and dress with a little bit of the dressing. Top with the diced beets, drained mandarin oranges, sliced & candied almonds, and goat cheese. Add additional dressing here to taste.
Enjoy immediately. Do not dress anything you plan on having leftover :)
**The balsamic is definitely a strong flavor (which we love). If you are unsure about that, start with adding 1-2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar to the dressing and increase from there.