elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: beets

Dwight Shrute would be so proud, I just know it. I am really taking advantage of all the beets this season.This recipe comes from Food and Wine’s September, 2012 issue. It has the winning combination of beets and goat cheese, and a spicy kick as well.
Also, I had a lovely experience getting ingredients (za’atar, yogurt, hazelnuts, tomato paste, goat cheese) at Sahadi’s on Atlantic Avenue this morning. The helpful grocer teaching me about za’atar explained that it can also be used as part of a salad dressing. I will have to try that. I’ve only been to Sahadi’s on very crowded weekends before, and it was a joy to be able to peruse without feeling like I was in someone else’s way. Oh, summer! 

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium beets (1 1/2 pounds), trimmed (I used 4 very large beets)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red chile, seeded and minced (I used dried chile flakes instead)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup roasted skinned hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Warm bread, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the beets in a small roasting pan and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool slightly.
  2. Peel the beets, cut into wedges and transfer to a food processor. Add the garlic, chile and yogurt and pulse until blended. Add the olive oil, maple syrup and za’atar and puree. Season with salt. Scrape into a wide, shallow bowl. Scatter the hazelnuts, goat cheese and scallions on top and serve with bread.

Here is Part 1 of my 2 preserving projects from this rainy day. This recipe is another great one from Sherri Brooks Vinton’s book: Put ’em Up!

I also made an addicting jalapeño jelly this afternoon, and I will post that one next. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds beets
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wrap the beets individually in foil and arrange on a single layer on baking sheets. Roast until tender when pierced with a  knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Use a wad of paper towels to a paring knife to take the skins off. Cut the beets in half and then into 1/4-inch slices.
  2. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt, and then remove from the heat.
  3. Pack the beets into 3 clean, hot pint pars, arranging them snugly but with enough room for the brine to circulate. Divide the cumin seed and cloves among the jars. Pour the hot brine over the beets to cover by 1/2 inch. Leave 1/2 inch headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.
  4. Cool, cover, and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

If you want to can the beets, process for 30 minutes. They should be good for up to one year.

 

 


This is a beautiful special occasion salad, and our special occasion was that it was Wednesday. I think there is a certain irony to a salad that includes “fried” and “candied” in the title, and I couldn’t resist it. I used beets and Boston lettuce from this week’s CSA share. Thanks to sophistimom for the great recipe, which I adapted a only a little bit.

Ingredients:

For the beets:

  • 2 beets, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the candied walnuts:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

For the fried goat cheese:

  •  4 ounces goat cheese
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying

Greens and Dressing:

  • 1 head Boston Bibb lettuce (0r any other greens)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 Directions:

Prepare the beets:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Top with a piece of parchment paper. Place beets on parchment paper, drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap paper and aluminum foil around the beets and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until beets are tender. Let cool completely. Then, cut into 1/4 inch slices and divide each slice into fourths. Meanwhile, lower the oven to 325 and get going with the walnuts:

Prepare the Candied Walnuts:

  1. Mix together the walnuts and maple syrup until evenly coated. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Make a single layer with the walnuts, and heat for 20-25 minutes, flipping once during cooking.
  2. Allow to cool, and then roughly chop the walnuts.

Prepare the Fried Goat Cheese: (NOTE: You will want the cheese to be warm, so you can compile the whole salad, and save the second step below for last.)

  1. Mix cheese with lemon zest, parmesan, thyme, and salt and pepper until well blended. Roll cheese mixture into quarter-sized patties. Freeze for about 20 minutes. Roll in egg, and coat with Panko.
  2. Heat oil in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat. When you put the cheese in the saucepan it should start bubbling immediately. Flip them after 10-15 seconds, and cook on the other side for 10-15 seconds. The cheese should be golden brown.

Prepare the greens and vinaigrette:

 

  1. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with the greens.

Compile the Salad:

  1. Layer the greens and vinaigrette, followed by the beets, walnuts and then goat cheese. Enjoy!

 


If you want to use up a bunch of your root vegetables but don’t feel like turning on the oven, this is the perfect dish. You can make it in under 10 minutes, and can pretty much use any vegetables you want. The two key tools here are a mandoline and a mini food processor (You can use a blender, too). To make this salad a meal, serve it with the second recipe below, Quick Sesame Peanut Noodles. 

Here are the vegetables I used:

  • 1 harukei turnip
  • 1 red beet
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash

Other vegetables you can substitute are: carrots, kohlrabi, any other type of beet…

Use a mandoline to thinly slice all of the vegetables and combine in a large bowl. Then, make the dressing:

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Place ginger and garlic in mini food processor and process for a few seconds. Scrape down sides if necessary.
  2. Add vinegar, soy sauce and honey in food processor and blend for another 30 seconds or so.
  3. Slowly drizzle in oils. I use the itty-bitty hole at the top of the mini-prep so that I can continue to process while adding the oils.
  4. Pour dressing over salad and combine. Serve immediately.

Bonus Recipe: Quick Sesame Peanut Noodles

 

Ingredients:

  • Banh Pho Noodles (wide, flat rice noodles–I used about 1/3 of the package of the very wide kind, like the type of noodle in Pad Thai)
  • a handful or two of raw unsalted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons of scallion, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. I put mine in boiling water for about 6 minutes and then drained. Then I returned them to the pot.
  2. Blend noodles, tahini and soy sauce in a food processor for a 1-2 minutes, scraping down sides as necessary.
  3. Place peanut mixture in a bowl with 2-3 tablespoons warm water. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour mixture over noodles and add the scallions.
  5. Heat up the noodles over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, and serve immediately.

 


The Sang Lee CSA started for the season last week, and there is an interesting combination of root vegetables, greens, and other little surprises. This salad uses beets from last week and the parsnips, lettuce, and parsley from this week. This salad is great when served warm, but can also be served cold.

The Salad:

Set oven to 400 degrees

Cut beets and parsnips into “finger sized” pieces. Don’t cut them too small, as they will shrivel up while roasting, kind of like how we get all wrinkly when sitting in the hot sun. Coat a baking dish with olive oil, and layer the vegetables in the baking dish. A little hint to keep the beets from bleeding: layer them in the dish first, then brush with olive oil, and then layer the parsnips. Or, you can just use golden beets, which don’t bleed. You can use any root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, etc. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until vegetables are done. They should be tender. Toss with chopped parsley. How much parsley will depend on how many vegetables you use. You be the judge.

While the vegetables are roasting, put a bunch of greens in a bowl. I used my all-time favorite lettuce: Boston, aka: Butter.

The Dressing:

Dice a large shallot and saute for 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk 4-6 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar with 1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard. Then, gradually whisk in shallot/oil mixture, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Coat the salad with the dressing. Obviously, depending on how much salad you made, you might not use all the dressing.