4 medium beets – scrubbed, trimmed and cut in half (save stems for pasta, stew, or pickling)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
1 (10 ounce) package mixed baby salad greens
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces goat cheese
Add beets to a medium saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until a fork can slip in easily. Drain and cool, remove skin, then cube them.
While the beets are cooking, heat walnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat until warm and starting to toast, then stir in the maple syrup (optional). Cook and stir until evenly coated, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing.
Prepare salad plates individually with baby greens, candied walnuts, beets, and dabs of goat cheese. Drizzle each plate with some of the dressing.