Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beets.Are.Delicious! Who.Knew?

Seriously. I learned today --- scratch that --- 2 hours ago --- that Beets.Are.Great. To think of all the salads in the past I've scanned and quickly passed up upon reading an ingredient is beets. What a shame! I don't know why I thought I didn't like beets. To be honest it might be my mom's fault --- sorry mom --- because I'm pretty sure she is anti-beet. But I will be changing that. And let's be honest, the word "beet" is really not that sexy.

I came across a beet and orange salad that looked like something I couldn't help but like and decided to give beets a shot. Actually ended up making two recipes tonight and I honestly cannot say which one is better. Both amazing.

One more thing before we get into the recipes --- did you know beets had to be cooked?!?! I'm not sure why this came as a surprise to me as I didn't even know what a raw beet looked like (thank you Albertson's associate) but I guess I thought you just started slicing away. Not true.

For both of the below, cut the stems (and tails) off the beets and put into a medium saucepan covered in water. Bring to a boil and boil for 30 minutes until they can easily be pierced with a fork.

The skin should be soft enough that you can just slide it off with your fingers. Let the beets cool a bit first! Or use a knife to peel/cut the skin off. Warning: change into dark clothing and consider gloves.

Although this is the "before" washing hands picture --- the "after" does not look much different! I'm not a hand model though (although I bet I could be) so it's not that big a deal. :)

[Beet, Basil, & Orange Salad]
Following serves ~4

2 medium beets, peeled and cut into eighths
2 oranges
2T balsamic vinegar
3T chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste
3T olive oil

While beets are boiling, in a small mixing bowl combine the following:
- The zest of one orange
- 2T of balsamic vinegar
- 3T of chopped basil
- Salt and pepper

Whisk then slowly add the 3T olive oil while continuing to whisk. Set aside.

Then peel and section the orange so you have just the wedges without the skin/pulp. Arrange on serving plates. Then arrange the beet wedges on the plate. Drizzle with basil vinaigrette.

D. Lish. And gorgeous.

[Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Walnuts]
Following serves ~4

2 beets
2T red wine vinegar
3T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup walnuts
Goat cheese
Lettuce: Bibb lettuce pictured, arugula and escarole used in original recipe

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the 2T of vinegar, salt and pepper, and slowly whisk in the 3T of olive oil.

Cut the beets into bite-size wedges/cubes and add to the marinade. Put in fridge and let sit at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and spread walnuts on cookie sheet. Toast for roughly 8-10 minutes until browned --- stirring occasionally. Once toasted, cut into smaller pieces.

On serving plates place handful of lettuce. Top with marinated beets. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts then crumble desired amount of goat cheese on top.

Then tell me which of the two is better!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


This is a GREAT dish. It was inspired based on two things:
1. This amazing chicken sandwich my sister Dani made over mother's day weekend
2. This amazing chicken sandwich I had at a little cafe in New York down the street from Magnolia Bakery

[All you need:]
Grilled chicken
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Jar of sun-dried tomatoes
Jar of roasted red peppers
Clove of garlic
Basil, small handful, chopped
Garlic salt

Grill chicken. Take a forkful of the sun-dried tomatoes and a forkful of the roasted red peppers from the jars and chop into small pieces. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat one clove of chopped garlic. Add the peppers and tomatoes. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Warm through.

Slice chicken. Cut two slices of mozzarella, then cut in half and layed on top of chicken. Top with pepper/tomato mixture. Then sprinkle wi thbasil.

Simply delicious. A good italian twist but still fairly light. Would be wonderful on toasted ciabiatta bread if desired --- but also just great with a knife and a fork!


I'm really not a huge salad fan but this is simply delicious. And full of fresh summer ingredients. The secret ingredients are lemon zest and mint!

[Salad ingredients:]

1 package of bibb lettuce
1 lemon's worth of zest
Handful of cherry tomatoes
Diced avocado
Handful of mint, chopped (basil if store is out of mint)
Handful of chives --- cut into 1/4 inch pieces
Handful of pine nuts --- toasted
Grilled chicken if desired

Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1T of dijon mustard
1T of honey
1t of Chipotle Tabasco
1T of vinegar
3T of olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Combine all salad ingredients in bowl. To toast pine nuts just swirl in dry skillet/small saucepan over medium heat until turn brown. Combine all dressing ingredients in small mixing bowl and whisk. Toss over salad. Top with chicken.

So good.


I'm utterly obsessed with mangos right now. They are so summery and delicious. I love to just eat them raw and sliced.

To check ripeness --- squeeze them and they should be soft like an avocado.

As pretty as the skin is --- you don't eat it. I just use a potato peeler and it comes right off. Then slice the fruit from the core. Mangos have some crazy pit similar to an avocado but you can't just twist the fruit into two halves --- slice wedges of the fruit around the center.