I’ve had a lot going on lately—two trips to New York, weekends spent camping in the woods, family reunions, friends in town for the Cal/UCLA game (Go Bears!), and a wine tasting trip to Paso Robles. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a lot of fun, but it’s nice to be home for a while now with no big plans on the horizon.

And, it means I can spend more time cooking up healthy and delicious dinners, like this seriously simple beet, bacon, and goat cheese salad. I like it because in the time it takes for you to cook the bacon, everything else is ready to go. Dinner is literally on the table (or, well, couch) in 30 minutes. Doesn’t get much better than that, right?

Ingredients

Salad

6 slices Applewood smoked bacon

6-8 medium sized beets

3 oz goat cheese

1/2 cup pistachios

1/2 head of radicchio

10 oz Romaine lettuce hearts

Dressing

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Serves 4

Directions

First of all, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. If you have the time, you should oven roast your beets—they taste so delicious when they’re done this way. Not to worry though if you’re in a pinch—most grocery stores will sell beets that are already peeled and steamed.

Next, want to know the easiest, least messy way of all to cook bacon? Bake it in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until you reach your desired crispiness. I like to lay the bacon on top of a cookie-drying sheet over a sheet pan so it can get extra crispy (and the fat will drain, which makes it slightly healthier without compromising on taste!).

When the bacon is done cooking, let it cool, then chop into small pieces.

The nice thing about this salad is you can prep everything else while the bacon is baking—throw together a quick vinaigrette by shaking together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small jar.

Chop the Romaine and Radicchio into small shreds, crumble the goat cheese and set aside, and chop the beets into bite-sized pieces.

That’s it! All you have to do now is toss the lettuce with 4 tablespoons of dressing (you’ll have some leftover for another night), then top with the beets, bacon, goat cheese, and pistachios.

You’ll find that this salad is substantial enough to stand alone for dinner, but it’s also delicious served as an accompaniment to grilled steak, chicken, or fish.

Photos courtesy of Niki Lowry.