feta beet salad with fig sherry vinaigrette.
I love having a go-to salad. What is yours? For the last year mine has been: tuna with arugula, olive oil and balsamic glaze, Parmesan and a few good grinds of pepper. Why I love it: it's a combination of my favorite greens and healthy tuna---and a reminder of our year abroad in Florence, Italy. The tuna arugula salad has Tuscany written all over it (though, to be fair, in Tuscany it would have been Pecorino cheese instead of Parmesan). And I even submitted it for inclusion in the homeaway travel cookbook.
Next up: a new favorite salad that screams of good health, salty and sweet flavors and greens from my very own urban garden farm. I can call it a farm, right? It is a humble city-sized yard but we have new baby chickens nesting in our basement (a temporary safe-house as they grow; they move outside soon). AND: we have a tractor on the premise that we use almost daily.
We have the big chore of digging up our entire yard. The tree bamboo were intending on making a jungle of our property and consequently swallowing our house. Everything growing in our yard (well, almost everything, I kept a few humble plants and trees---especially one large cherry and one small plum tree!) qualifies as 'invasive.' And we need to replace water lines, add a gas line, insert drainage...
But more on that later. It is time for lunch: roasted and sliced beets, crumbled or sliced feta, mixed garden greens---including arugula---a handful of pistachios and an easy fig, sherry vinaigrette.
Feta Beet Salad w/ Fig Sherry Vinaigrette serves 4.
2 medium sized beets (red, yellow, any color!) 1/4 cup feta 1/4 cup pistachios mixed greens (especially arugula!), enough for 4 small plates fig sherry vinaigrette, enough to dress salad without drowning it (recipe follows)
Roast beets: place in small ovenproof dish, add 1/3 inch or so of water, place beets in dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake 350 for an hour or until easily pierced with fork. When cool to touch, remove skin. Slice into 1/4 inch circles and layer in circle on each plate. Toss your greens with vinaigrette---just enough to lightly cover leaves. There should be no pooling in the bottom of your mixing bowl! Place greens on top of beets. Crumble feta and pistachios on top, give a good extra grind of salt/pepper on each and serve.
Fig Sherry Vinaigrette
2 T fig jam (I use my brandied fig jam; make some this summer!) big grinds of kosher salt and coarse pepper (KS&CP) 1-2 T sherry vinegar 1/2- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (the younger the better)
Place in jar and shake, or add jam plus vinegar then whisk in olive oil. You will have extra for your next feta beet salad.