Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Return Of Recipes! Roasted Beet and Wild Rice Salad



Coffee and a rainy sunday afternoon are the perfect combination to facilitate a day dedicated catching up reading Critical Distance, making end-of-the-year mixtapes and, as promised, typing up some new recipes. Winter may not have been the most auspicious time to rejoin the Silverlake Farms CSA, but from past experience I've found whether it be red kobocha squash or freshly picked beets, there are plenty of interesting items to challenge my cooking skills.

In this recipe, I'm happy to be able to share one of my favorite kitchen tricks, which is using both the beets and their greens. If you haven't ever cooked with beet greens, don't worry at all — slice them off the top of the beet and lay them on the counter and you'll realize it won't take too much imagination to think of them like chard or kale.


Roasted Beet and Wild Rice Salad
Serves 4 As A Main

1 small sweet onion (1/2 of a larger onion), chopped
1 cup wild rice
1.5 lb beets w/greens (3 large beets), greens thoroughly washed, stemmed and sliced in to thin strips (1/4")
1/4 walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tbs + 1tbs olive oil (divided)
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tsp nice sherry vinegar (white balsamic or champagne vinegars would work as well)
small handful of fresh basil, sliced in to very thin strips
1/4 c. chèvre cheese, crumbled (goat feta or even crumbly blue cheese works great as well)
salt and pepper to taste

1) Roast the beets: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop off the greens 1" from the top of the beet and reserve. Wash beets. Wrap each beet individually in foil. Bake for 60 minutes on a baking, or until they are tender when poked with a fork. Let cool. Once cool, remove the skin using your fingers  (it should come off fairly easily if they are cooked through.) Cut in to 1/2" cubes.

2) Make the wild rice: Wash the rice well in a strainer. Put rice, 4 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt in a kettle. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat and gently simmer for about 45 minutes. Uncover and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain excess water if necessary. Fluff with a fork and let cool a bit.  

3) Make sure to thoroughly wash the reserved beet greens since they tend to be quite dirty. I prefer to soak them in cold water for five minutes and then wash them. Dry the greens in a salad spinner or on paper towels. Cut out the stems (and discard) then slice the remaining leafy parts in to thin strips (1/4"). 

3) In a skillet heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions with a pinch of salt until soft, 4-6 minutes.

4) Add the beet greens and sauté until just barely tender but still bright green. 

5) Empty the onions and greens mixture in to a large bowl. Mix in the walnuts, rice, basil and beets.  

6) Add 1tbs olive oil (use the good stuff for this part), vinegar, lemon juice, pepper to taste and mix. Taste for salt and adjust.

7) Serve with crumbled cheese on top. 


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