Beet, Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Earthy beets, bright crisp cucumbers, summer sweet tomatoes combine for a great summer salad.
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved or ripe tomato cut into pieces
4 medium beets, roasted
1 large cucumber or up to 3 small to medium, peeled, seeded and sliced into half-moon slices approx. 1/4? thick
1 tbl extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsps red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Toss vegetables with oil, vinegar and salt.
*Optional and tasty - add crumbled good blue cheese or goat cheese on top. And/or a few toasted walnuts.
Braised Tomatoes and Greens Beans
This one is adapted from an Eating Well recipe and it's one I cook a variation of often in summer
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 bulb of fennel, sliced 1/4 inch thin
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 TB fennel seeds (if you have them)
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
*Have less tomato than you need? Saute an onion on low for more moisture at beginning. Or onion and pepper.
*Add a sliced zucchini
*Add a jalapeno diced for extra zip
Cook green beans in boiling water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and refresh with cold water.
Heat oil in a large nonreactive saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add fennel seeds and crushed red pepper and cook for 30 seconds or until becoming fragrant. Add onion and fennel bulb slices (if using) and saute until the veggies are just starting to beome a little tender, 3 mins or so. Add tomatoes and the green beans. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes form a sauce and the beans are soft, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Beet & Apple Salad with Blue Cheese & Walnuts
2-3 raw beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks or skinny slices
1 sweet/tart apples cut into matchsticks
Arugula or mixed salad greens
4 oz blue cheese or goat or feta cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (you can also use white balsamic, apple cider vinegar, or you favorite mixed citrus juice)
2 tablespoons of best-quality extra virgin olive oil
A little fleur de sel (if you are using goat cheese; no salt, if you’re using feta or blue)
Wash, peel and cut your beets and apples. Reserve in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, make your citrus vinaigrette by adding lemon juice, olive oil, and fleur de sel. Whisk together, taste and adjust to your liking. If you want a sweeter flavor, use less citrus and more olive oil. Drizzle over beets and apples and toss with pair of tongs.
Plate individually by making a bed of salad greens, top with pile of beet mixture, and garnish with cheese and walnuts.
Also great with a maple balsamic.
Braised Onions, Fennel and Swiss Chard
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
3 small spring onions, julienned
2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 bunch white Swiss chard, stems cut into 1/2-inch lengths, leaves cut into 1-inch lengths, leaves and stems reserved separately
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Meyer lemon, zested on a microplane and juiced, zest and juice reserved separately
Coat a large saute pan with olive oil. Toss in the smashed garlic and crushed red pepper and bring the pan to a medium heat. When the garlic becomes golden brown and very aromatic, remove it from the pan and discard it. It has fulfilled its garlic destiny. Add the onions, fennel and Swiss chard stems, stir to coat with the oil and season with salt, to taste. Stir in the white wine and the lemon zest and juice. Cover and cook over medium heat until the veggies have become soft and wilted but still maintain some texture, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until most of the liquid has reduced, another 3 to 4 minutes. Toss in the Swiss chard leaves, stir to combine and season with salt, to taste. When the leaves have wilted but still look vibrantly green, taste for seasoning. Reseason if needed (it probably will). Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
Beet and Fennel Salad
A delightful salad for this week pairing pretty veggies. I like the citrus vinaigrette combo but another light sweet dressing works great. In my house, a maple balsamic vinaigrette is the staple dressing on hand, and I don't often have oranges and lemons hanging around. But it you do, great, it will be lovely.
1 head fennel
Juice of one orange
Juice of two lemons
Zest of one orange
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts
4-6 cups mixed greens – lettuces, arugula
2-4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
2 tablespoons minced chopped fennel fronds (or chives, parsley, or mint)
Cut the greens off the top of the beets and reserve for later use. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler. Using a slicer or mandolin, thinly slice the beets. Stacking a few slices, use a chef’s knife to cut the beets into narrow strips. Or grate in a food processor. Place in a medium bowl.
Remove the fennel fronds. Remove the tough outer layers and cut in half lengthwise (from the top, where the fronds were, through the core end.) Remove the triangular shaped core at the base. Using the slicer or mandolin, thinly slice the fennel. Rinse the slices, dry with a paper towel, and slice into narrow strips, just as with the beets. Add to the bowl with the beet strips.
For the vinaigrette, place the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest and olive oil in a small, sealable container. Shake vigorously. Season with salt.
Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat and add walnuts to skillet. Toast until fragrant and starting to color, then remove from heat. Allow to cool, and coarsely chop.
Place the mixed greens in a large bowl with fennel and beets. Dress with vinaigrette. Taste, season with salt if needed or more vinaigrette. Top with the crumbled goat cheese, chopped walnuts, and minced fennel fronds (or other herb choices).