Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Beautiful Salad

This is more complicated effort than I usually put out for a salad, but the results--yummy and worth the work. The recipe is from Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook, a good reference for meals that are nutritious and family friendly.

4 medium beets, ends trimmed
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
2 pears, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
1/2 tsp.salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper (I forgot to use the salt and pepper)
2 cups arugula (I used baby spinach and a little bit of romaine, thinly sliced)
4 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese (I used feta on my bowl)
Serves four.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (It says to wrap the beets in foil - I baked them as is because I avoid aluminum foil whenever I can). Bake beets for 1 hour, or until a knife easily pierces the beets. Remove from oven and let cool at least 30 minutes (I did this part the day before). Peel the beets, cut each into 8 wedges and transfer to a bowl.

Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until reduced by about half and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Set aside to cool.

Place the chopped walnuts in a large nonstick skillet and cook over medium high heat, shaking the pan often, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer to the bowl with the beets.

Add the oil to the skillet and return to med high heat. Add the sliced pears and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Add the reserved vinegar mixture, the salt and pepper to the beets and walnuts, tossing to coat well. Place 1/4 of the arugula (or whatever green you are using) on each of 4 plates, top with the beet mixture and pears. Sprinkle each with 1 tbsp of blue cheese (or feta).

As you can see, mixed all together it makes pink pears. But the taste - yummy! I didn't think the pears would cook well, but they were delicious - just the right sweetness for this salad.  And, now that I know all the steps, it won't seem so complicated next time.

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