Often, it’s quite late when dinner is being prepared at Casa Curls and Carrots. Finally, Snu Magoo and Littlest Guy are fed, bathed and snug as bugs in their beds. The bright New Mexico sun has long since set and the iridescent, white moon has risen. With any luck, my Love will be home soon from the work at the hospital. If we eat dinner by 19:00, a true success is achieved
Though it is late, as the day was long, it is never too late to cook dinner . Otherwise, what shall we eat? With melodic, soft tunes playing; low lights and glass of wine, culinary endeavors ensue. Cooking is solace; cooking is relaxation; cooking is pleasure in a nutshell. Or, in this case, a bushel of beets.
First, easy meal of roast chicken with chimichuri and roast vegetables is popped into the oven. Oh, the wonders of roasting never cease – color, flavor and texture is achieved in lightening speed. Now, I began preparations for a beet salad. These are not the horrible, metallic-tasting canned or absurdly sweet, pickled beets of childhood nightmares. These are beets reborn – reinvigorated – given a second chance at life.
There is always room for a salad at my light wood dinner table. This morning, spotted the gorgeous burgundy and light orange beets at the Co-Op in my neighborhood; oh, how they sang out to me. Their beauty was unparalleled by the vegetables surrounding them; their colors popped: Purple! Orange! Green!
First, the beet are cleaned. Their greens are removed, ribbed, sliced and reserved for the salad. Then, the beets are gently simmered in water until the skins slipped off with the ease of the turning of a book’s page. Lovely, sweet beets can be either roasted or boiled. Tonight, I opted for the second method. The vibrant colors of the beets are unhindered by the cooking process thanks to the addition of lemon juice. No bleeding beets, please.
I could devour the morsels of root vegetable goodness now. However, I have glorious plans for these gleeful beets. They will hum harmoniously with fresh, deep green kale; soft mushrooms and avocado; crisp Spring onions; salty, crunch pistachios and creamy, pungent Roquefort cheese in a satisfying salad.
Generally, the addition of a French blue cheese to any salad can only elevate. There are so many textures and flavor notes in this dish; it shall not disappoint nor fail to delight.
Through the front door enters my Love. The table is set, the candles are lit and the drinks flows freely. The redolent smell of the roasted chicken and vegetables permeate the house. There is a bounty of alluring, salubrious vegetables before us. Every night should be this lovely – and it shall, if I have any say. The pleasure of food, companionship, along with shared tales of the day’s events, unfold before us. There is a feeling of magic and enchantment in the air tonight – and most nights. Each dinner shared with those you care for is a notable occasion – one to be reveled in.
Not to be Beet Salad for Two
Take the time to prepare fresh beets – and splurge on a lovely French blue cheese
1 medium bunch of kale, stalks and ribs removed, cleaned and thinly sliced
Beet greens, stalks and ribs removed, cleaned and thinly sliced (reserved from the beets)
1 each: a large orange and purple beet, cooked, cooled, peeled and sliced
4 Spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 medium avocado, cut into small cubes
2 large baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 ounces Roquefort blue cheese
1/4 cup shelled, roasted pistachios
1/4 cup Your favorite white wine vinaigrette, preferably homemade
Cracked pink sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1.) On a large platter, layer the kale and beet greens. Sprinkle all of the remaining ingredients, through the pistachios, evenly over the kale and greens.
2.) Drizzle the salad with the vinaigrette and season aggressively with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.
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