About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Warm Chioggia Beet and Apple Salad

3 medium chioggia beets
about 3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 small (about 9 ounces) crisp tart apples
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, chopped
1 whole star anise seed head
salt to taste
white wine vinegar, something light and fruity

Trim the leaves and roots off the beets and wrap each beat individually in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the beets on a baking tray and roast at 400 F. for about 40 to 50 minutes until tender, depending on size. Carefully open the beet packets and run cold water over the beets, you should be able to handle the beets then by holding them under cold running water, rub the skin off the beets and set them aside to cool.

While the beets are roasting, heat a medium size skillet over medium heat. Toast the pine nuts in the hot skillet until they just start to brown. Remove the pine nuts from the pan and set aside to cool.

Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple into 16 wedges. Melt the butter in the skillet, add the apples, chopped shallot and star anise and saute over medium to medium low heat until the apples are tender. Set aside until the beets are finished roasting.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, cut them into wedges about the same thickness as the apples. Add to the skillet with the apples and add the toasted pine nuts. Saute to heat everything through. Season with a splash or two of vinegar and serve.

Serves 2 to 3.

I used a Spanish moscatel wine vinegar by Unio that is wonderfully light and fruity. If your white wine vinegar is very tangy, I would substitute rice vinegar. Also, if you can't find star anise, a pinch of dried tarragon would be good instead.

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