I’m still here and…occassionally…still cooking. Sometimes. Culinary school is on spring break right now. I’d been looking forward to the break for weeks, thinking I’d use the time off from class to cook all of the dinners and other goodies I’ve been eyeing in Bon Appetit and other favorite blogs, but just haven’t had the time to make.
Alas, break arrived and my motivation started waning. Somehow, between cuddling the puppy, relaxing with my long-neglected husband, roadtripping to visit family, going on business trips and everything else thats come up….cooking (and blogging about it) has again taken the back seat. SIGH.
The good news is, I have one week left of spring break and started it off with a bang — Easter Dinner. Technically, my mother made the majority of the meal since we were celebrating at my parents’ house, but I still got to add a few goodies to the plate: a raw asparagus salad, roasted beet salad, homemade dinner rolls and orange pudding souffle cake. Some were better recieved than others but the one I wanted to share today is the beet salad.
If you’re someone who cringes at the very word “beet” you’re note alone. I’ve avoided them for years but sometime in the last six months, JT suggested I try roasting them and slicing them ultra-thin…”carpaccio style.” Much to our great surprise, roasted beets are delicious! While hanging out in the oven their sugars truly blossom, creating a sweet, mellow slightly earthy flavor that needs little dressing up. In fact, they’re so easy to make, I’ve taken to buying a bunch of beets each time I visit the grocery. Get them home, lop off the tops, wrap the beets in foil and let them roast for an hour. Then simply cool, peel, slice and top with a dusting of salt and a sprinkle of goat cheese (a squeeze of fresh orange juice would be nice too).
Before I get to the recipe though, I thought I’d share a couple of pics from our little Easter weekend. My father is a camera maniac so he’s always snapping pics. I emailed for a picture of the beets and got a response with over 70 photos! He usually takes “action shots” that don’t always catch everyone in their best light, but I think this one of me with my Momma and G-ma is especially nice…wouldn’t you agree?
And, of course, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share another photo of Miss Zoey being her sweet puppy self — though I admit the look on her face looks like a cross between a diva and someone who’s really tired of being chased by the paparazzi (which migh actually be true considering how many pictures exhist of this little puppy!). I guess we’re just trying to capture it all while she’s still little….she’s already grown so much since we got her! Yep…you guessed it. JT and I are those wierdos who think their dog is a child. (Because she is! To us. In a way….)
Anyway, I hope everyone had a delightful Easter and a pleasant start to spring so far. Now on to the beets!!!
Roasted Beet Carpaccio Salad
1 bunch of medium sized beets (about 5)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Freshly squeezed orange from one wedge of fresh orange (optional)
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the beets under cool water. Slice the stems and greens off of the beets (reserve for another recipe if you’d like or toss them). Slice the bottom “tail” off of each beet. Place all of the beets in a layer of foil and wrap tightly, then place on a cookie sheet. Place cooking sheet in the oven and bake for about an hour.
When beets are cooked through (you can test by sticking the point of a knife into one, it should go in smoothly), remove from the oven, unwrap the foil and cool until you can handle them with bare hands. With cool tap water running, peel each beet under the faucet with your hands. If the beets are cooked, the skin should peel right off with a little pressure from your hands. Be careful…the beets will stain so be sure to thouroughly rinse your hands and place the peeled beets on a non-pourous surface.
Using a sharp knife, slice each beet width-wise as thinly as possible. Spread the slices on a plate. Top with a sprinke of goat cheese and a squeese of orange juice (if desired). Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve.