pumpkin seeds

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

I got these beautiful beets a couple of days ago. Very fresh and the leaves are even dark red. I had been thinking of how I wanted to cook them. Decided to roast them and then go from there. To roast beets just wash them and trim off the greens- leaving about an inch of the stems to reduce bleeding. Place beets in a roasting pan and drizzle with a little oil. Cover pan and place in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Smaller beets will be cooked in less time- about 35 minutes. Really large beets could take up to an hour. I always check by poking one of the beets with a fork. Let the beets cool a little and then remove the peels. I use a knife to do this. They come off quite easily.

Now I just had to decide how to use them. I decided to use three of the small ones to make a salad for myself and a friend. Here is the recipe.

Roasted Beet Salad

1 small head Bibb lettuce, washed and sliced into thin slices

2 c. beet greens, washed and sliced thin

1/4 c. olive oil

3 T. red wine vinegar

2 t. sugar, optional

3 small roasted beets

1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese

1/4 c. hulled pumpkin seeds, toasted

1/4 c. dried cranberries

sliced cooked steak, optional

coarse sea salt- I used pink salt

Combine lettuce and beet greens in a mixing bowl. Combine olive oil with vinegar and sugar, if using. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss over the greens. Slice beets. Divide greens on 2 salad plates. Arrange half of the beets on each salad and top with the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle with a few grains of the sea salt and serve. Makes 2 luncheon salads.

Roasted Beet Salad with Steak

Roasted Beet Salad with Steak

My very red beets

My very red beets

Autumn Tomato Salad

Autumn Tomato Salad

Autumn Tomato Salad

It’s always kind of sad to say goodbye to fresh tomato season. There should be another month until frost hits our area and I am trying to eat as many fresh tomatoes as I can between now and then. I have been getting heirloom tomatoes from my friend Carl at Blue Pike Farm.  I needed a salad for a dinner with friends and decided to make this simple but tasty tomato salad. That’s the thing about fresh tomatoes. You really don’t need to do much with them. Heck, I’m happy with some fresh slices and a sprinkle of salt. For this salad I started with slices of fresh tomatoes. I had a bottle of this amazing olive oil so I added a drizzle of it to the tomatoes along with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, too. I also added a few basil leaves and some freshly ground sea salt. I wanted a crunch element and decided to add toasted pumpkin seeds. You can buy them already toasted or just toast them yourself.* I sprinkled them over the tomato salad and it added just the texture I was looking for.

 

The olive oil I used

The olive oil I used

 

*To toast pumpkin seeds place a layer of pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet and cook them, over medium heat, until they start to brown a little. Toss or stir often. Be careful not to burn them. The seeds will jump a little in the pan. That’s normal. Once seeds have toasted remove them from the heat and let them cool down.