Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day as I strolled through the Collingwood Farmer’s Market. Produce was abundant tomatoes, sweet corn, beets, lettuce, fresh blueberries and blackberries, even peaches were available. As I gazed at the vibrant colors and variety, recipes raced through my mind. Trying to eat healthy I decided to take elements from recipes I found interesting and create a berry and beet salad. So I purchased beets and red leaf butter lettuce from Flaim Farms, organic blueberries and plump blackberries from Brookeberry Farms.
So begin by cleaning and roasting 4 medium size beets. Set your oven to 400, place beets on a baking sheet covered with foil. Place the beets in the middle of the pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on some salt. Bring the foil together and make a package. Roast the beets for one hour, check for tenderness by inserting a knife in the middle. It should slide in easily. Remove from oven and cool; then peel off skin and cut into wedges drizzle with olive and and lightly salt.
While the beets are cooking take a small heavy saute pan and heat over medium high. Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup , about 7-9 whole walnuts and a pinch of salt. Cook about 3 minutes, the maple syrup will begin to caramelize. Remove from heat and let the nuts cool in a lightly buttered bowl.
In a small bowl mash a cup of blackberries with a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of maple syrup, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Let the berry sauce macerate for about 5 minutes and then push through a mesh strainer into another bowl. You will have a delicious blackberry vinaigrette.
Depending on size remove 2-3 leaves of lettuce; wash and dry with a paper towel. Arrange the leaves in one layer on a plate, top with beet wedges, blueberries, whole blackberries. Drizzle the blackberry vinaigrette and then add a few candied walnuts. If you are eating dairy some crumble blue cheese would go very well!