Beet and Pear Salad

Pears join beets in a refreshing salad that makes an excellent accompaniment to roasted meats. Cook the beets up to a day ahead and store them in the refrigerator, drizzled with a little vinaigrette, to give them even more flavor.

SALAD

4 small red or Chioggia beets (2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter)
6 cups loosely packed torn Bibb or Boston lettuce
1 cup baby spinach, cut into thin strips*
1 Bosc or Anjou pear, peeled, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted**

VINAIGRETTE

3 tablespoons walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Trim greens and roots from beets, leaving 1/2 inch of the stems and roots intact. Reserve greens for another use. Place beets in medium saucepan with enough water to cover; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low or low; simmer, covered, 30 to 40 minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in small bowl. (Vinaigrette can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

3. Drain beets; cool slightly under cold running water. Remove skins; trim and discard remaining stems and roots. Cut each beet into 12 wedges; place in small bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette; cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 1 day.

4. Toss lettuce, spinach and pear in large bowl with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Top with beets; sprinkle with cheese and walnuts.

4 (2-cup) servings

PER SERVING: 245 calories, 16 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 5.5 g protein, 23.5 g carbohydrate, 5 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 5.5 g fiber

TIPS

*To cut spinach into thin strips, stack several leaves together; tightly roll lengthwise. Slice crosswise into thin strips.

**To toast walnuts, place on baking sheet; bake at 350°F. for 6 to 8 minutes or until pale brown and fragrant. Cool.