Peach Salad with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese, Pistachios, & Raspberry Orange Dill Dressing

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” 
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Autumn, tinged in bittersweet emotion, is arriving on the familiar formation of goose wings. As a teacher and stepparent, next month I welcome the school routine and falling back into regular working, sleeping, and eating patterns. While I will miss late morning coffee sessions pond side with our three noisy and entertaining ducks — Lucky, Dante, and Beatrice — I am ready to embrace the next chapter. Living on a farm I find that I trust my senses more to announce the transition of seasons in the landscape. I analyze the birds circling the sky, measure the way the morning light radiates with a golden filter through the pasture, and I capture various spicy scents in the air. With a renewed concentration I anticipate watching our honeybees visit the gladiolas and sunflowers in our yard (they will be blooming soon) and imagine their amber honey in our mugs of tea this winter. I take nothing for granted. Every moment of beauty I witness becomes a fleeting reminder of nature’s last dash for vibrancy before everything is covered in white fleece.

Lucky, Dante, and Beatrice

The new pond that John is building. It has a “rushing river” (inspired from our honeymoon in Alaska) and a waterfall.

Weather wise, it has been a challenging Upper Peninsula summer. While the lake levels took full advantage of rain, I heard friends and family mourn lackluster gardens. On the contrary, my husband John and I grew the best garden we both have ever had. We were fortunate to acquire a hoop house last year with a grant from the USDA. John, always the industrious workaholic, braved icy fall and spring weather constructing its massive structure and we were able to start planting in April. We were thrilled to harvest broccoli, peas, and beans the first week of July (greens much earlier), and in addition to eating fresh produce, I have been canning, blanching, and freezing at a steady rate. Our goal is to put up enough vegetables to get us through until next summer. It has been a lot of work, but it is worth it knowing where our food comes from – our own backyard.

It’s been a dream come true to have this incredible hoop house.

It has been a dream come true to pick fresh greens daily for salads and have a variety of fresh kitchen herbs at my fingertips. While I always have felt that my happy place was my classroom, I also enjoy letting my creativity bloom in the kitchen. As I always say, there is a close relationship to cooking and writing poetry.

John and Avalon picking peas.

Lukas and John picking cabbage for sauerkraut.

The salad recipe that I am sharing with you today was created in celebration of a visit from my Muskegon in laws. While my husband John fired up the grill to prepare barbequed pork ribs (raised on our farm) I prepared sweet potatoes, cheese bread, broccoli, and assembled a salad with fresh greens that I hoped to be beautiful on both the eyes and the taste buds. I combined fragrant and rosy peaches with earthy and sweet roasted beets, plump and tart raspberries, crunchy and buttery pistachios, and creamy goat cheese and gorgonzola. The dressing honors my Scandinavian roots with the addition of tangy dill (beets and dill are a wonderful flavor combination). I think that I achieved my goal, but you will have to try it and see for yourself.

I made one large family style salad and it served five adults. This salad would also make a fantastic Mason jar salad (remember to layer the dressing first and the greens last so the salad does not get soggy).

Ingredients for salad:

  • Large bag or clamshell of greens (I used leaf lettuce, spinach, and baby kale)
  • 2 fresh sliced peaches
  • 1 pint of raspberries
  • 1 bunch of beets (3 or 4…salt and pepper and a couple Tablespoons of cooking oil)
  • ½ log of goat cheese
  • ½ of a small brick gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 cup of pistachios

Ingredients for dressing:

  • 1 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 pint of raspberries
  • ¼ cup of dill
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon onion
  • Zest and juice of one orange
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparing beets can be a bit messy but their sweet flavor and silky texture makes them worth the mess.

Cut the beets into several pieces. Scrub well and leave the peelings on. If you have smaller beets you can cut in 1/2 or thirds. Once they are done roasting the peels will slide right off. Roast the beets for 40 minutes at 450 degrees (time may vary depending on your oven). After 20 minutes give them a toss. Let the beets cool before making the salad. The beets can be prepared the night before.                                                                                                                                                       

To make the dressing you can chop the berries, onion, and dill, finely mince the garlic and whisk all of the ingredients together. However, the best method that I have found is to put all the ingredients into the blender and give it a good pulse. If you want to make the dressing more visually pleasing you can add some chopped dill to the final product.

Store in the refrigerator in a cruet or Mason jar and give it a good shake before serving. Leftover dressing will last for a few weeks in the refrigerator.

Arrange the greens, beets, raspberries, peaches, and cheese in a large bowl or on a platter. Pour on the dressing and sprinkle with pistachios (the dressing could also be served on the side). I did not toss the salad since I wanted the lovely beets, peaches, and berries to be on the top. Serve and enjoy!

Printable recipe: Peach Salad with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese, Pistachios, and Raspberry Orange Dill Dressing

I hope that your transition from summer to fall is a peaceful one. The Waldos will be celebrating a Marquette county autumn with apples from our orchard. Since our family time and being self-sufficient is important to us, we will be making apple crisp for weekend breakfasts to go along with John’s homemade waffles. I will be busy canning apple pie filling and applesauce for our winter table. I hope to squeeze out a few more front porch sessions watching our roosters Shakespeare and Hamlet strut around the yard as the sweet hens and Harriet the turkey warble and free range. Maybe you will join me for some virtual hot apple cider? Make sure that you stop by my Facebook page or leave a comment here for how you are celebrating the autumn and not forget to tell me what you think about this salad.

John bought me a pressure canner to preserve our harvest.

Green beans!

Our shelves are filling up fast.

Shakespeare and Harriet.

Our honey bees stopping to take a drink from the pond.

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Roasted Beet, Mango, and Blueberry Salad with Orange Dill Dressing ~ Plated or Layered in a Jar

7Dill is an annual herb whose fragrant, delicate-tasting leaves, also known as dillweed, will enhance a variety of your favorite foods.

Yet dill brings as much to the landscape as it does to the palate. Its finely textured blue-green foliage grows on upright stalks of fountainous stems. In late spring, you may want to cut dill’s chartreuse flowers and use them in a flower arrangement ~ Southern Living

Yesterday I shared my recipe for Orange Dill Vinaigrette Dressing and today I will share a vibrant and delicious salad that I dressed with this flavorful vinaigrette.

(Clink on image for a larger version).

(Clink on image for a larger version).

Since my latest obsession is Mason Jar Salads, I layered the ingredients into four jars (quart sized) but also wanted to demonstrate that this would make a fantastic plated salad as well. The plated salad that I made was HUGE and my husband Mike devoured it for dinner. This recipe could easily make six jar salads.

I always make sure my salads have a variety of colors and textures.

I always make sure my salads have a variety of colors and textures.

Roasted Beet, Mango, and Blueberry Salad with Orange Dill Dressing

Ingredients:

  • Orange Dill Dressing
  • Savory Quinoa (Recipe to Follow)
  • Roasted Beets (Instructions to follow)
  • 1 green pepper
  • Thinly sliced red onion (about 1/2 a medium onion)
  • 2 ripe mango
  • Pint of blueberries
  • 1 cup of raw almonds (or nut of choice)
  • 8 ounces of Sugar Snap Peas (I bought one package)
  • Greens (I used romaine and spinach)

Savory Quinoa 

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa (could substitute brown rice, bulgar, wheatberries)
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • 1-2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Few leaves of chopped fresh mint
  • Fresh snipped chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    Sautee the onion, celery, and garlic in the coconut oil until they are soft.

    Sautee the onion, celery, and garlic in the coconut oil until they are soft.

    Add sauteed vegetables to the bowl of quinoa

    Add sauteed vegetables to the bowl of quinoa

    Add nutmeg, mint, and chives and stir.

    Add nutmeg, mint, and chives and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.

    I love to add nutmeg to savory dishes because it really adds a depth of flavor. In the summer when I have an abundance of chives and mint in my garden I add them to nearly every dish I make.

    I love to add nutmeg to savory dishes because it really adds a depth of flavor. In the summer when I have an abundance of chives and mint in my garden I add them to nearly every dish I make.

    Do not to forget to save your beet tops. They are incredible in smoothies or lightly saute and drizzle with olive oil and serve as a side.

    Do not to forget to save your beet tops. They are incredible in smoothies or lightly saute and drizzle with olive oil and serve as a side.

    Preparing beets can be a bit messy but in my opinion their sweet flavor and silky texture makes them worth the mess. I LOVE the combination of beets and dill so I knew this salad would be a taste pleaser.

    The beets that I bought were large so I cut them into many pieces. I scrubbed them well and left the peelings on. If you have smaller beets you can cut in 1/2 or thirds. Once they are done roasting the peels will slide right off. I roasted these beets for 40 minutes at 450 degrees. I opened the oven after 20 minutes and gave them a toss. I let the beets cool before making the salad.

    I put the beets in a glass baking dish, add a clove of minced garlic, a Tablespoon of coconut oil, and salt and pepper.

    I put the beets in a glass baking dish, add a clove of minced garlic, a Tablespoon of coconut oil, and salt and pepper.

    For the Mason Jar Salads I started with two Tablespoons of the Orange Dill dressing  (though I found myself adding more dressing when I ate the salad so next time I will add three Tablespoons). I then added a layer of beets and green pepper.
    21Next a layer of the Savory Quinoa and a few pieces of red onion.
    22Next a layer of mango and a layer of blueberries.

    23Next a 1/8 cup of raw almond and a half dozen pea pods.

24I then filled the rest of the jar with chopped romaine and spinach.

16The plated salad also contained all the above ingredients. While I really enjoyed the combination of the mango with the other flavors, I think that orange segments would also be a lovely addition.

Take a look at the gorgeous colors.

Take a look at the gorgeous colors.

Summer on a plate!

Summer on a plate!

18If you are interested in other Mason Jar Salads, here are some of my previous recipes:

Israeli Feast ~ Mason Jar Salad (with Tabouli, Hummus, and Olives)

Classic Salad Bar in a Jar and Waldorf Inspired Slaw

If you are interested in pinning this salad and other recipes, here is a link to my Produce with Amy board.

I hope you enjoy my Orange Dill Vinaigrette Dressing along with this nutrient rich salad. Summer is salad season, and whether it is plated up or layered in a jar, it is a quick, cool, satisfying, and versatile meal. I promise to keep the salad dressing recipes coming. I think that my next dressing will take on a spicy flair and feature cilantro.

Keep filling your plate with a rainbow of fruit and vegetables and reap the benefits of a healthy life. Cheers to summer and thriving! ❤

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Roasted Beet, Mango, and Blueberry SaladRainbow Plate