Beets. As a child, I couldnt stand them. They were pickled and from a jar. To my buds they were slimy and tart.
Recently, my foodie friends have insisted I try beets again. Really try them. Fresh, roasted, beets. So I did. I found a recipe by Giada for a salad with the bright red root. So I made it. It was beautiful. I didnt like it. I tried, I really did. Bo eagerly gobbled his up, while I subbed sliced apple for the beets in mine. Now THAT was good!
With our salad we had European Peasant Bread with cheese. The bread was quick to make on a busy Sunday and has a decent flavor - not like an all-day bread, but what do you want for a no knead bread?
All in all, a nice Sunday dinner.
Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad (Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 medium beets, cooked and quartered
6 cups fresh arugula
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss the beets in a small bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the beets are slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Set aside and cool.
Toss the arugula and walnuts in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the salad atop 4 plates. Arrange the beets around the salad. Sprinkle with goat cheese, and serve.
European Peasant Bread (Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)
makes 2 large loaves
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
5 1/2 cups flour
Mix the salt and yeast with the water in a large bowl. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading. the dough will be very wet. Cover with a towel and allow to rest at room temperature for about 2 hours.
At this point you can use the dough or refrigerate (it will keep for about 2 weeks). If you are going to make the bread right away, it’s still a good idea to refrigerate the dough for an hour or two so it is easier to handle.
Cut off a section of the dough, and dust it with flour. Quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered baking sheet.
While the dough is rising, heat the oven to 450 F and place an empty broiler tray on the lowest rack in the oven. If you are baking on a baking stone, place it in the oven to heat up with the oven.
When the oven is ready and the dough has risen, sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and make a few 1/4 inch deep slashes on the top using a serrated bread knife. Leave the flour on top of the loaf during baking.
Place the baking sheet into the oven (or slide the dough onto your baking stone). Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, quickly close the oven and bake for about 35 minutes. The top should get a good hard crust and will be deeply browned. Allow to cool on a cooling rack and brush off excess flour from the top of the loaf before slicing.