2 bunches of beets (you can mix red and gold, or use whatever your market carries)
3 shallots, split lengthwise with skins on
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of marjoram, thyme and oregano (use fresh thyme, but the marjoram and oregano can be replaced with ½ teaspoon each of dry, if necessary)
1 log of goat cheese, keep refrigerated until ready to use
1 loaf of crusty Italian/French bread
½ lemon, juiced
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5-6 dried dates, chopped
1 bag of arugula
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Trim the stems/greens off of the beets, and scrub the beets clean under running water. Cut the beets into uniform 1.5-to 2-inch pieces. Toss with shallots, thyme, marjoram, oregano, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Empty contents of the bowl onto a large piece of aluminum foil. Fold foil into a packet (leave some air in the packet so the
heat can circulate) and roast in the oven until the beets are fork tender and nicely caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove packet. Open and let cool. Peel shallots and give them a rough chop if necessary. While the beets and shallots are roasting, cut loaf of bread into 1.5-inch cubes. Toss bread with 1 tablespoon olive oil (enough for a light coating), spread cubes on a sheet pan and toast in the oven until just beginning to brown, should still be chewy on the inside—about 10 minutes.
To make the dressing: In a large mixing bowl (you will be tossing the entire salad together in this bowl), add the honey, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk together until mostly emulsified. Add dates, bread, beets and shallots. Toss with the dressing.