May 22, 2013
Written by Joy Paoletti and Judy Vig
Monday, 26 July 2010 15:23
Anyway, we try to get away early in the morning while they are still sleeping, which gives us enough time to visit the farmers markets or a small local farm. We love to see what fruits and vegetables have been harvested this week, and each one inspires us with an idea for a new recipe.
As we pull up to one of the markets, the aroma of freshly baked bread hits us right where it hurts — our stomachs. That big “cup a” coffee we started off with is not enough to stop us from sampling everything in sight, including fresh fruit and cheeses to lovely home-baked goodies and the local honey.
To our surprise, someone is baking fresh pizzas in a portable wood oven, with whatever fresh fruits and vegetables the farmers have supplied him with this week. It’s just delightful, from peaches and red onions to red beets and basil. We remember the beet salad Nana often served.
Most people are not familiar with fresh beets and have no idea how to prepare them. Actually it is very simple. Wash the beets and cut off the ends. Place the beets in a roasting pan with a little water to create some steam, approximately one-half inch of water. Roast at 425 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. They are ready when you can pierce them easily with a knife. Let them cool slightly, slip off the skins, then cut into round slices or wedges, whichever you prefer.
We love hearing from all of you. Thank you so much for the warm wishes and delicious recipes you have shared with us. Keep sending us your favorite recipes, and we will post them on our Web site if you wish.
1 pound (three to four medium size) roasted beets (as directed above)
Good quality blue cheese, crumbled
Olive oil (best quality)
Praline pecans (recipe follows)
1 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Coat lightly with Pam spray. In a medium-size saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Increase heat slightly and cook syrup without stirring, about 12 to 15 minutes, until golden or amber in color. Remove from heat and stir in toasted pecans. Be careful as the sugared syrup is hot. Working quickly, spread the pecans onto the cookie sheet and press with the back of a large spoon to flatten. After they cool, break them into small pieces.
To assemble salad, arrange beets on a plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Top with crumbled blue cheese (or your favorite cheese), and garnish with the sugared pecans.
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