A guest post from Kerri:
Long time no blog, friends! This is the time of year when it is at least a part-time job to harvest all the garden goodies I’ve been tending to so lovingly. I feel like I need to take a day off of my full-time job just to can and freeze my bounty! Not to mention that my little sprout of a son just started 4KJ. Thank goodness for an easy, breezy dinner brought to you by the humble beet. I have to admit that, prior to cooking up the beets from my garden, I don’t think I’ve had a beet since I was in 4K. I’m not sure when my disdain for beets began but it surely ended when I tried this great Spinach and Sorrel Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese that I whipped up. Ready in a little over 30 minutes and impressive enough to serve for your next dinner party that your friend or relative that always criticizes your cooking will be attending.
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 T syrup (any breakfast syrup works just fine)
Fresh baby spinach
Sorrel ( I used a red-veined variety from my garden that looks really good with the red of the beets)
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Goat cheese (the recipe calls for a dollop for each salad but I won’t judge you if you use more…goat cheese is darn tasty)
1. Place beets in a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Bring water to a boil and cook until tender. For my beets, I found that this took about 35 minutes.
2. While the beets are boiling, heat the walnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat until they just begin to toast. Then, stir in your maple syrup. Cook and stir until evenly coated and remove pan from heat and allow the walnuts to cool.
3. To make the dressing, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl.
4. Your beets should be done cooking now. Drain and cool them and cut them up into cubes.
5. Pile up some spinach on each of four plates. Then, divide candied walnuts equally and sprinkle over thespinach. Then place a few leaves of your sorrel on top of that. Next comes a helping of your cooled, cubed beets on the salad and top with a dollop of goat cheese (or more…I won’t tell). Finish your salad off with a drizzle of dressing (or more if you prefer).
6. Enjoy your fancy-pants salad.
Don’t know what to do with the beet greens leftover from your prep for this recipe? Stash them in the fridge and sauté them up in some olive oil for a quick side for lunch or dinner the next day.
A note on harvesting your beets: After researching to try to determine the best time to harvest beets, I found that there is no right time. I harvested mine in mid-August and they could have been just a tad more tender. I would recommend beginning to harvest your beets in early August to make sure they don’t turn woody.
Next time: Eggplant…the versatile vegetable that doesn’t look like an egg.
P.S.: Check out a recent harvest from the garden!