Tag Archives: Beets

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with Almonds and Citrus Vinaigrette

12 Jun

I love salads.  Leafy greens tossed with a light vinaigrette as a starter, whole-meal salads with chicken or steak and chunky vegetables or something in-between.   If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with great farmers markets, now’s the time to take a stroll and see what’s available for your salad bowl.

For lunch today I made one of my favorites.

Romaine lettuce, toasted almonds, roasted/steamed beets, sweet white onion, cranberry/pecan goat cheese and a mandarin/lemon dressing.

First, the beets need to be cooked.  My favorite way to do them is to cut the leaves off (use them in a soup or saute them for dinner), wash well and wrap in a couple of layers of aluminum foil.   Then they go into a 400 F oven for 45 minutes  to 1 1/4 hours — timing will depend on the size of the beets.  They’re done when a skewer or a thin knife can be inserted with little to no resistance.  Take them out of the oven and leave them, wrapped in the foil for about 15 minutes, or until they’ve cooled enough to handle.  If you’ve got them, put on some gloves and rub the beets — the skins should slip right off.  If not, use a paring knife to help them along.  Slice the beets, put them into a bowl and into the fridge to chill.  You can cook these and keep them in the fridge, covered, for a few days.

I used romaine lettuce because that’s what I had in the fridge but you can use anything you like.  Just wash and dry well, tear it into bite size pieces (using a knife to cut the lettuce will make it rust faster than tearing).  Top the lettuce with some thinly sliced white (or red) onion, toasted almond slivers, chilled beets and cheese.  More often than not, I have a package of my favourite Israeli sheep feta in my fridge and the tangy, creamy cheese is perfect for this type of salad.  Today I had a delicious log of pecan/cranberry goat cheese in the fridge, so that’s what I used.

Finally, drizzle the salad with citrus vinaigrette and serve.

Citrus Vinaigrette — Makes enough for 4-6 servings

3 Tbsp. mandarin (or orange) juice

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

pinch black pepper

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. Dijon (or grainy) mustart

1/4 cup canola or other light oil

Whisk all ingredients together and taste, adjusting salt and pepper if necessary.

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Lights, Camera.. Borscht?

3 Jan

I had no soup plans for the week.  Our store has been closed for over a week and it’s taking so much energy to get back into things.  But when I got to work on Tuesday there was a  message on the machine from a local food magazine.  They want me to come in tomorrow for a photo-shoot! Their February issue is focusing on soup – I wrote a soup cookbook – there you go.

All I need to do is get to their offices in the morning, ready for pictures, with some soup already prepared. Easy enough.  They requested borscht – so I made a batch from the recipe in my cookbook.

Borscht can be made in so many different ways.  When I make it at work, I usually go for more of a sweet and sour tone.  This version is very subtle in it’s sweet and sour flavour.  You could always add some sugar or lemon juice to kick that up.  Feel free to add some cabbage – and garnishing with sour cream is encouraged.

Beet Borscht
10-12 small beets (2 lbs. | 1 kg) peeled and cut into ½” cubes
1 small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped and ½” cubes
1 can (28 oz. | 796 ml) crushed tomatoes
8 cups | 2 L cold water
1 Tbsp. | 15 mL salt
1/4 tsp. | 1 mL black pepper
1 Tbsp. | 15 mL granulated sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. | 20 mL lemon juice

Another version, which I love, is meat borscht. Start by bringing some stewing beef up to a low boil in the 8 cups (2 L) of water, skimming off any residue and simmering approximately half an hour – until the meat is cooked and tender. Then add the vegetables and follow the recipe. The meat will be sweet and tender.

Method:
Place the beets, carrot, onion, celery, tomatoes and water in a soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the beets are fork-tender.

Add the salt, pepper, granulated sugar and lemon juice. The seasoning may need adjusting, but it should have a subtle sweet-and-sour flavour.