With all of the traveling lately, I’ve been eating out more than I care to. So while Kevin was working, I decided to get back into the kitchen, this time to prepare one of my favorite dishes for the first time: Beet Salad. But I couldn’t settle on just one recipe. Instead, I pieced together two recipes. Voila! Franken-beets.
The first recipe is from Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc at Home.” I’ve baked beets this way for several recipes, and the beets turn out nearly perfect. Why mess with perfection? The first thing you do is trim the beet tops to 1/2 inch and wash them. Then bathe each beet in canola oil, salt and pepper. I bought a collection of baby beets at the Dallas Farmer’s Market last week, so I actually bunched 5 of these veggies into one tin foil packet instead of doing them individually as Keller suggests. In the tin foil packet goes a tablespoon of butter and any remaining oil from the beet bath. Then pop them into the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
After the packets cool, follow Keller’s tip to remove the skin: simply rub the outside lightly with a paper towel. Genius!
For the salad I turned to Nigel Slater’s “Tender.” This is a cookbook that I love to look at, but I’m not sure I’ve ever actually cooked anything from it. (That will all change this week as most of my meals will come from this book.) I modified the beet salad slightly, substituting a naval orange for the blood orange and adding snow pea shoots. I also tossed in some spinach greens and mixed together a vinaigrette of olive oil, walnut oil, blood orange vinegar (from Beringer!) and some smoked black pepper. Then I topped the tossed salad with blue cheese.
The salad was amazing and perfect for those endless hot Texas nights. I will say that eating the pea shoots was a bit difficult. So maybe keep them whole for the pics but chop them for the salad you actually eat—unless, like me, you’re home alone. I just ate them with my fingers. Healthy little French fries! Bon apetite!