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Monday, February 28, 2011


So it all started with reading a blog...

I know you're shocked, right?  Bloggers are just so creative and the food bloggers blow me away...not only with the food that they prepare but with their photography, as well. So recently I was visiting one of my favorite blogs.....

and Joanne had posted beautiful photos and a recipe for making slow roasted beets with buttermilk bleu cheese, arugula and toasted pecans.  This looked so good to me!  

If you have not been over there to visit her blog, you should totally go over there and visit her. You will be so glad you did. She makes the most incredible sounding food and the photographs that she posts just makes you want whatever it is that she's serving.

So anyway, I shared with you last week that we made a trip to the local Coop Food Store last weekend. While I was wandering around the store, I happened to run across some wonderful organic golden beets.  When I saw them, I remembered seeing the beets on Joanne's blog so I grabbed a couple of them and brought them home.  I hadn't expected to make the beets when I went shopping that day so I didn't have the ingredients for her recipe on my shopping list.  I just knew when I saw them that I had to buy them and I would figure out what to do with them later.

When I got ready to cook them, I didn't have the ingredients to make her recipe exactly and didn't want to go to the store.  I did what I normally do when I don't have the ingredients for a recipe...I improvised.  I knew that I wanted to roast the beets which is really very easy to do and just like with other veggies, roasting brings out the natural sweetness in them.  

To get started with roasting them, I just washed the beets really well and cut the root end off of them I kept the skins on intact.
I rubbed them with olive oil and placed them in a baking dish with a head of garlic that I planned to use with another dish.  I covered the dish and roasted them in a 350 degree oven until I could pierce the beets easily with a fork.  It took about an hour for them to get tender. 
Once the beets were tender, I removed them from the baking dish and allowed them to cool before trying to peel them.  The skins come off pretty easily once they are cooked. After they had cooled, I cut them into chunks.  Slicing them would have worked as well; but, I wanted them bite sized.

At the Coop, I was able to find the most beautiful organic, locally grown baby arugula which I knew would be perfect for this salad.
I, also, found pea shoots which have become my latest obsession. 
Aren't they beautiful?

They taste so fresh and I've spent the week nibbling on them and putting them in salads and on sandwiches. I am even attempting to grow them myself. I will share more on that at a later date.

To put the salad together, I mixed the arugula and the pea shoots and added baby spinach to round out the greens.
The dressing was adapted from a recipe that I found here on the Savvy Chef blog.  It was a very simple recipe that tasted so good!  We liked it so much that I think I will keep some of it prepared in the refrigerator to dress our salads and sandwiches.

I started with 1 tbsp. of local honey.
I mixed the honey with 1/3 cup sweet balsamic vinegar that I get locally at an Italian deli/market.  Any balsamic vinegar would work fine for this dressing.  This is just a particular favorite of ours.
No dressing is complete without some good olive oil. I added 1/3 cup of it to the vinegar and honey.
Last but not definitely not least, I added grated shallot.  The recipe called for 3 tbsp. of shallot. I assume that was chopped shallot.  Instead of chopping the shallot for the dressing, I grated it.  That gave me all the nice flavor of the shallot without having pieces of it in the dressing.  That worked out great for me. 
A little salt and pepper and a good whisking and it was ready to go on the greens. 
I dressed the greens added the cubed beets on top.  On top of the beets, I added this wonderful local herbed goat cheese that I found at the Coop.   
To the top of the salad, I sprinkled some toasted pine nuts.

It was an absolutely fabulous salad.  The two beets that I roasted were enough to make this salad one more time this past week.  We enjoyed it so much that I picked up more greens, beets and goat cheese this past weekend.  David and I are like that.  We find something that we love and we eat it often. 
We ate fresh......we ate local.....we ate well.

Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello. I hope you have a wonderful week!

This post is being linked up with Seasonal Sunday , Decidedly Healthy or Horribly DecadentMellow Yellow Monday, Hearth and Soul and Let's Do Brunch.




  1. I must admit that I am not really a foodie, but this sounds so delightful and easy to make! A great series of photos too!

  2. Looks lovely , gorgeous plate of salad. Golden beet attracts me a lot.

  3. Oh, that is an absolute feast for all the senses! Gorgeous photos and colors, and I'm practically drooling just reading about it ... :) You eat VERY well at your house!!!

  4. That recipe sounds and looks fantastic! I'd never thought of using pea shoots for anything except growing the pea pods! I'll have to try this. I'd love to have it for dinner tonight, but I suppose I'll have to go track down the beets first.

  5. Salad looks delicious! I found pea shoots at Trader Joe's and just love them, fresh peas are so hard to find around here, I was happy to find the shoots! The beets are beautiful, what a gorgeous color!

  6. Yum! You are really taking advantage of your local produce girly! Love it.

  7. Oh, this salad looks so good! I had a golden beet salad once from Whole Foods that I absolutely loved, but I've never tried to make beets at home. You make it look pretty straightforward. =)
    And I also love Joanne's blog--she always has such great pictures and recipes.
    Anyway, I'm glad I stumbled on your blog! You've made me hungry for a big ole salad. =)

  8. This salad looks amazing! Yum! Perfect for this time of year.

  9. Wow these are all healthy!! I haven't seen pea shoots too gonna look for it though. Like your shots too very clear. Happy Monday!

  10. All this fresh produce in one plate is definitely something I would enjoy Candace!

  11. This sounds delicious, even if the word BEETS made me cringe, as I don't normally like them. Thanks for sharing this!

  12. Wow Candace you make me want to give beets another chance. Looks delicious!

  13. You are such brave and good eaters at your house. Seriously, I admire your sense of adventure in cooking and eating.

  14. What a gorgeous salad you put together! The colors are just stunning! I haven't had beets in ages. Do golden beets taste the same as traditional or is there a flavor difference?

  15. Thank you all for taking the time to stop by and for all of your kind comments!

    Julie, the golden beets might be slightly milder than the traditional ones although there is not a lot of difference, if any. I don't know that I've had the traditional ones roasted so I'm not completely sure if I can accurately compare them. When they are combined with the other flavors in the salad, they just blend really well. I think the type of balsamic vinegar that is used would make a difference too. The kind that I used was really sweet. If I were going to suggest to someone to try beets, I would suggest the golden ones over the traditional.

  16. Would you consider cooking for me? :-)


    The seekers of yellow, they say,
    Will have a most terrible day
    Should they not behold
    Cream, amber or gold
    To burnish life’s dull shades of grey.

    © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Oasis in Yellow

  17. Note to self...only stop by Candace's blog after I eat and am full. Otherwise, I leave here starving every time!! LOL It looks wonderful. I've never had roasted beets before, but you can bet I will soon.


  18. Candace - first of all I LOVE Joanna's blog - I would gladly eat anything she made. I discovered beets this past summer and the golden ones are by far my favorite. I love your whole salad - as I was reading along I would think "oh, that sounds good" and then "oh so does that" and "wow what a great salad!". I see why you went and got the ingredients again! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  19. Candace what a marvelous salad! I'm simply going to have to try roasting beets. My mom always went for canned beets, and not being a fan to this day have not bought fresh. You're encouraging me to give them a try.

  20. Looks great and I bet it tastes great. Would you like to link it up to my Let's Do Brunch. It is just right for it.


  21. A favorite winter salad here. Have never seen pea shoots.

    For whoever asked ... gold and white beets are slightly sweeter than the more earthy-tasting red.


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