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Beets and berries inspire a beautiful, bountiful salad
Ellie Krieger, Special To The Washington Post
It doesn’t take much effort to turn a simple salad into a spectacular one; all you need is a little inspiration. Two colorful produce items that looked especially fresh and bountiful at my market recently, golden beets and plump red raspberries, constituted the perfect muse for this one.
I knew their colors would be outstanding atop a pile of greens, which I decided should be a mix of deep green arugula and tender, mild butter lettuce. As I made my way home, I relished the thought of how, once roasted, the beets’ deep, earthy sweetness would play off the bright tang of the berries, and it occurred to me how nice it would be to add a crunchy element.
Once back in my kitchen, I searched for just the right one, which I found in the gemlike, buttery pistachios stashed in my refrigerator. (I always refrigerate, or even freeze, nuts. They keep longer that way.) An easy lemon-Dijon vinaigrette brought all the flavors together beautifully.
Because it was coming on lunchtime, I thought it would be nice to turn the salad into a light meal by toasting garlic-rubbed baguette slices slathered with soft goat cheese. As I happily devoured the salad with the warm cheese toasts, I thought about how it would also be delightful with a bowl of soup for dinner.
Green Salad With Golden Beets, Raspberries, Pistachios and Goat Cheese Toasts
MAKE AHEAD: The beets can be roasted, peeled and refrigerated a few days in advance.
From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.
2 medium golden beets (about 4 ounces each), scrubbed
1/3 cup shelled raw or roasted unsalted pistachios
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices whole-wheat baguette
1 large clove garlic, halved
4 ounces soft goat cheese
3 cups lightly packed arugula leaves (3 ounces), torn if large
4 cups lightly packed butter or Boston lettuce leaves (4 ounces), torn
1 cup fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until tender-firm, about 1 hour. Let cool completely in the foil, then open and discard the skins. Slice each beet into half-moons.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, place the pistachios on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant, 6 or 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the oil, the lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper in a mixing bowl to make the dressing.
Position an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler.
Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet; rub the top of each slice vigorously with the cut side of the garlic. (Reserve the garlic for another use.) Brush the tops of the bread with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, then spread each slice with about 1 tablespoon of goat cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute or just until bread is toasted and the cheese is warmed and lightly browned.
Add the arugula, the butter lettuce or Boston lettuce leaves and the beets to the mixing bowl with the dressing; toss gently to coat. Divide among individual plates; sprinkle with the pistachios and raspberries. Place 2 goat cheese toasts on each portion.
Nutrition 5/8 Per serving: 310 calories, 11 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 21 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 410 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 10 g sugar