The days from that third Thursday in November to the first day of January are filled with celebrations of all kinds. Family dinners, brunches, cocktail parties, a lunch with special friends and every now and then an extravagant multi- course dinner at a five-diamond restaurant! I love it all and toast the season every chance I get. It is just about now, that I find myself craving something clean, fresh and bright, which is exactly what I created to balance out recent culinary heavy hitters.
Join me in celebrating our markets’ bounty with this Winter Market Salad. Ingredients are easily found either at the Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market or Carrboro Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, and this week on Thursday afternoon. That would be my first recommendation, though a good grocer should have these same ingredients or similar. This could not be easier to put together and will leave you feeling guilt free and satisfied with its delicious flavors and textures. Plus, it is a visual delight and we know we eat with our eyes first!
Winter Market Salad
- Roasted beets
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Vinegar, I used cider vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Trim greens from radishes, beets and carrots. Wash the tubers and dry with a kitchen towel. Reserve greens for steaming or tossing into a soup, as their nutritional value is very high.
Wash the arugula to remove any sand or soil. Spin dry of pat dry with kitchen towel.
Roast the beets in a shallow pan with water covering the bottom. 350 degrees until easily pricked with a fork or tip of a sharp knife, about 30 minutes, depending on size of the beet. When cool enough to handle, remove the peel by rubbing with your fingers or paring knife. Slice into 1/3-inch thick rounds.
Thinly slice radishes and carrots.
Cover slice of your favorite artisanal bread with grated cheese. Toast until cheese melts and begins to brown. Remove from heat and slice into large “croutons”.
Mound arugula on a plate. Scatter with vegetables. Dress with a splash of vinegar and oil. Top with croutons and garnish with sea salt, ground pepper and a sprig of parsley or tarragon.
Enjoy. Forthcoming: super food soups!