Salt Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese & Toasted Walnuts

Recipe from alexandracooks.com

What an interesting recipe, must try this one!

Here is the article in Alexandra's own words

I’m not sure why I’m so excited about this salad. There is nothing novel about the combination. Beets, goat cheese, walnuts. They’ve been married to death. Like tomatoes and basil and mozzarella. Like prosciutto and figs and blue cheese. Like smoked salmon and cucumber and crème fraîche.

But, have you ever salt roasted beets? Don’t freak out. The beets don’t taste overly salty. In fact, they don’t taste salty at all. They taste delicious. And sweet. And perfectly firm.

I was inspired to blog about this method after reading an article in the March issue of Saveur — all about where to eat in Los Angeles — which offered a recipe for Wolfgang Puck’s beet and goat cheese napoleons, an appetizer served at Spago. A short article in the back of the issue addresses how to cook beets so that their color doesn’t run. To preserve color and nutrients, Saveur recommends placing beets (5 to 6) in a 9×13-inch baking dish, pouring in an inch of water, covering the dish tightly with foil, and roasting until a knife easily slides into the beets, about 1 1/2 hours. I used to cook beets just as prescribed.

That was until I learned the method of the chef (former chef) from the cafe where I used to work. He salt roasted his beets with rosemary and thyme, and his beet salad, served with a goat cheese-topped crostini, Blue Heron Farm greens and a lemon emulsion, was one of his signature dishes. When I tried his cooking method at home, I discovered something remarkable: not an ounce of liquid (well maybe a teensy tiny bit) leeches from the beets. If preserving color and nutrients is the goal, then salt roasting is the way to cook beets.

Beets’ affinity for orange makes the dressing for this salad, adapted from Saveur’s, particularly nice: reduced orange juice, orange zest, shallots, rice vinegar, chives and olive oil. I like to spoon this dressing over the salad rather than toss it with the ingredients — beets turn a tossed salad into one big red mess.

Think you don’t like beets? Try salt roasting them. As a final endorsement I’d like to share that my husband never liked beets until he tasted them cooked this way. The first time I salt roasted beets and served them to him, he asked me what was different and why he liked them. Had I not been so impressed by his discerning palette, I might have been offended — I never knew he didn’t like beets. And it turns out he didn’t. I just didn’t know how to cook them.

Salt Roasted Beet Salad

Serves: However Many You’d Like

Roasted Beets:
beets, washed, greens removed
kosher salt
a few sprigs thyme and rosemary, optional*

Dressing:
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (store bought works fine, too)
1 T. rice vinegar or balsamic (I used rice vinegar)
zest of an orange
1 small shallot, minced
chives, minced
kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

goat cheese
walnuts, toasted**
greens, optional***

* Not sure if these herbs impart any flavor, but if you have them on hand, use them
** I toast nuts in a dry skillet until fragrant and slightly darker in color
*** This salad is delicious with or without the addition of greens

Roast the beets. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Pour kosher salt into a shallow roasting vessel to make a thin layer. (See photo to help estimate how much.) Place beets on salt bed. If using herbs, nestle a few sprigs among the beets. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in oven for about one hour, depending on how many and how big your beets are. Note: To test for doneness, remove foil and slip a pairing knife into one of the beets. If the knife meets little resistance, they are done. When beets are done, remove foil covering and let them cool. When cool enough to handle, rub off the skins and discard. Cut beets into nice chunks.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat and reduce to 1/3 cup. Let cool. Add vinegar, zest, shallots, chives and a pinch of salt. Let sit for 15 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

To assemble salad, arrange greens on a platter. Top with goat cheese, walnuts and cut beets. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Spoon dressing over salad. As you plate the salad, the ingredients will all toss nicely together. Note: This method of serving is merely for looks — beets are so messy that if you toss everything together, it becomes one big red mess. If you don’t care about looks, go ahead, toss everything together. If you try spooning the dressing over the salad, however, and tossing lightly as you serve it, I think you’ll find it both tastes and looks wonderful.

Apricot & Coconut Balls

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Delicious apricot and coconut balls recipe from apairandaspar.com

You need:

  • 4 handfuls of dried apricots (approx 500g)
  • two handfuls of almonds or any other nuts you like – cashews or macadamias would be delish (approx 250g)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of dessicated coconut
  • a few spoons of water

How to:

  1. In a food processor or by hand, chop up the nuts and apricots into tiny pieces.
  2. Add the water, salt, 1/3 of the coconut  and mix together so you have a slightly moist rough dough. You can do all this in the food processor if you are using one.
  3. Take spoonfuls of the mixture and press into balls.
  4. Roll in coconut.
  5. Leave to set in the freezer. I like to store mine in the freezer all the time so they are cool and solid to snack on.




Diy Grumpy Cat Shorts

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I found this cute grumpy cat DIY shorts on I Love To Create blog. This is so clever and funny I could not stop laughing when I saw this. If you want to  make a pair of your own, you can find the full tutorial here...

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Just brilliant!




Tip Of The Day! How To Store Matching Sheets

Store Matching Sheets Inside of Their Pillowcases.

Source

Little crochet bird

Here is a free pattern to help you create a little crochet bird – perfect for adding a vintage touch to weddings, styling your home and just bringing a bit of handmade love to your life.

Free Pattern

Breakfast Taco Cups

Recipe from bevcooks.com

Breakfast Taco Cups:

What it took for 6 cups:

* 6 taco tortillas (I used sprouted, but you can go regular flour or whole wheat, whatevs!)
* 2 cups kale (or spinach, arugula, whatever you have on hand)
* 6 eggs
* 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
* 3 slices bacon, rendered and crumbled
* 12 cherry tomatoes, halved (or more!)
* 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
* 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
* 1 pinch coarse salt
* 1/2 cup diced avocado
* 1/2 cup salsa
* cilantro leaves for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375.


Stack the tortillas on each other and give them a quick zip in the microwave, 15 seconds. This warms them so they’re more pliable and easy to maneuver.

Lightly coat the ramekins with cooking spray. Place each tortilla inside each ramekin, kind of folding it in. Layer a few kale leaves in the bottom of the tortillas, then crack an egg in each cup. Sprinkle a teeny teeny bit of salt on each egg. Then layer with cheese, 4 tomato halves, sliced onion, red bell pepper, and bacon. And more cheese.


Slide in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the egg whites are set and the yolks are nearly done. Go a little longer if you want them hard cooked. Mine weren’t soft by any means, but not totally done, which I love.

Garnish with avocado, cilantro leaves and a little drizzle of salsa. You could even add sour cream if you want!