“Pretty Beet Salad”

Several years ago a friend took me to a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in San Francisco called Postrio. They offered a tasting menu with a simply stated “beet salad” as the second course.  I went ahead and ordered it no real expectations.

When it came to my table, I almost gasped.  There were small little yellow and purple beets interspersed with edible flowers, little colorful smears of still unidentified “deliciousness” of all shapes and colors, along with little pieces of cheese.

“The plate honestly looked like some kind of masterpiece.”

Postrio did such an amazing job, it is still the most impressive food plating I’ve seen anytime, anywhere!

Here is my amateur attempt at trying to recreate this Postrio beet plate:

I love beet salad, but for years I was completely intimidated to even think of cooking them.  I only started incorporating beets into my recipes a few years ago but now they’re a part of my favorite “make ahead” salads to keep in the fridge.

The bright purple hue of the beets should alert you to the fact these things are filled with anti-oxidants and lots of good things for the body. By serving the salad with a delicious orange-olive oil dressing you totally “power up” the nutritional value and profile as well. 

My version of the “Pretty Beet Salad” is really easy, super healthy,  stores in the fridge well, and can be thrown together in a very short period of time.  If you haven’t worked with beets before I highly recommend using latex gloves with a good apron, because they are messy and can turn your hand and clothes purple real fast. I used purple beets but you can use golden beets as well.  Mix it up and play around with this dish. Have some fun calibrating it to your own tastes.

This recipe  is small and only for 2 people because I typically just cook for my boyfriend and I.  Plus, due to the mess, I prefer working only with a few beets at a time!


“I LOVED beet salad when I was going through chemo therapy. The beets with the bright orange flavors from the dressing and the zest, really knocked out the yucky chemo taste.”

Ingredients:

  • 4 beets
  • 1/4 of a red onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 ounce goat cheese, zest of 1 half of an orange, edible flowers
  • Orange vinaigrette recipe, recipe follows

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Wash and dry the beets and trim off the ends
  3. Take a large sheet of aluminum foil, fold in half and use to line a baking dish
  4. Put the beets in the middle, drizzle with the olive oil, water and season with salt and pepper
  5. Bake in the oven until beets are tender and you can easily pierce with a knife, approx. 1 hour or so
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool
  7. When cool enough to handle, gently peel off the skin and slice into julienne pieces (or to your preference)
  8. Chill in fridge until you are ready to make the salad!
  9. When ready to serve, lightly toss the beets with 2 tablespoons of the bright orange vinaigrette or just plain olive oil and diced red onions
  10. Plate one serving of the beets  and sprinkle with optional goat cheese, orange zest or edible flowers
  11. Drizzle with any additional dressing, serve and enjoy!


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Springtime Fresh Berry Hazelnut Gorgonzola Salad

This is one of my absolute favorite salads!  I just started seeing strawberries popping up around here in California so I thought I would post this.  The photo above is a “fancy” way I serve this to guests by putting all the ingredients in a round cookie cutter “mold”, but you can just let it “all hang out” on a big old plate as well.  I’ve made this for dinner parties and catering events and the salad was gone in about 5 minutes so I know other people besides me like it.

This is how I prepare it if serving in a “molded form for a “fancier look”

This recipe is a snap to make, and I highly suggest using really fresh arugula, not the pre washed pre packaged stuff.  If you can’t find real fresh arugula the other will work, you just get a higher intensity of flavor play between the ingredients with the real stuff.

 

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or mustard of your choice
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

Whisk together and let rest while you assemble the salad.

  • 1 pint (or more if you like of cleaned organic fresh strawberries, sliced
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of organic fresh raspberries whole
  • 12 to 16 ounces of fresh arugula (preferred… so much better!) or the pre washed pre packaged kind
  • 1/4 red onion chopped
  • 4 to 6 ounces of Pt Reyes blue cheese crumbled (or your favorite kind) or Gorgonzola crumbled cheese
  • 1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts (chopped or broken)

Directions:

  • Toss the greens and red onions  with the dressing (only use enough to barely coat the greens and store leftover dressing for later.)
  • Use a slotted spoon and spread the strawberries and if using raspberries, all over the salad
  • Sprinkle the blue or Gorgonzola cheese around on top
  • Top with the toasted hazelnuts

Enjoy!  This is one of my favorite salads


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