Spring is here in California and that means amazing fresh fruits and veggies. The farmers markets are jammed packed with colorful carrots, ripe strawberries and tons of other goodies that inspired this weeks recipes. We were in the mood for salad this weekend and vegetable creations were a hit. This weeks decisions were destined for a series of pot luck style dinners, and these brightly colored creations fit the bill perfectly, we didn't even worry about them getting cold! We started off our weekend with a bright Red Beet Salad with Greens. We were a little bit worried that everyone would wonder where the hearty dishes like Potato Leek Gratin or the Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi were, but the group was happily surprised by the lite but tasty side dish. The original plan was based around golden beets, but after scouring the markets, we there was not a golden beet to be found, so we went with red. Tossed in with the ruby red beets are the sauteed leafy green tops of the root with a bit of garlic and olive oil. This adds an extra punch of vitamins and also adds to the dishes beautiful color. Topped off with an orange vinaigrette, this salad is great tasting and really filling! One helpful hint: Be careful with your beets. Although the color is beautiful, it WILL stain just about anything it touches, including clothes and hands. Soaking your hands with a bit of vinegar after wards will take care of your pink palms.
Check out our new wood cutting board! Our good friend Steve Ciccarello made us this beautiful new checkerboard cutting board as a gift and an amazing background on Foodiesathome.com! It is absolutely gorgeous with a pattern of purpleheart, walnut and trimmed in a figured maple finish. We are so excited for a new upgrade in the kitchen and it adds so much to our photos! If you would like your own homemade cutting board let us know and we will put you in touch with Steve! Trust us...you won't be disappointed!
Pictures and Recipe after the break
Red Beet Salad with Greens
What you will need:
4-6 Fresh Red Beets with Tops (try to get the freshest ones and check out the leaves to make sure they look full and bright green)
2 Tbs of olive oil
2 cloves garlic (minced)
4 Tbs fresh squeezed orange juice
2 Tbs fresh chives (minced)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 ounces chevre
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400*
Cut the tops off your beets and scrub them down under cool water. Your beets will most likely be muddy, especially if you get them from a farmers market. Place the beets in a baking dish and fill with about 1/2 inch of water, cover with foil and bake 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs depending on how large your beets are. Test them with a fork to see if they are done. You should be able to pierce them easily but you don't want them mushy. Let cool
Wash your greens and cut of the stems so you just have the leafy parts. Roughly chop.
In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs of olive oil and brown the garlic until fragrant. Add your greens and cook until wilted. I had to do this in batches because my greens would not fit in the skillet all at the same time. Once your greens are all wilted down, set them aside to cool a bit.
Once your beets are a bit cooler, gently rub the skins and they should slip off easily. Throw the skins away and slice off the top and bottom of the beets. Cut them into bit sized cubes and toss with the greens.
To make the orange vinaigrette, mix the orange juice, chives, olive oil, and salt and pepper until the oil has emulsified. Toss the beets and greens with the dressing. Add your almonds and mix in. Top with crumbled fresh chevre
adapted from thehungrymouse.com