I’ve been having a lame couple of weeks. I’m just starting to get back into the working out groove, but my time has been pretty limited; My glasses melted in half; I’ve been really sick for a little over a week and a half, I just went on a really great date, with a really great guy, but no call back. I like him enough to want to go out again, and he’s super cool, but I’m kind of bummed that he hasn’t called me back. I invited him out, this weekend, but to no avail. He said he had a great time, so I’m kind of freaked out, but I also guess I’ll just move on, and let things go as they are. He’ll come back if he really wants to see me again. I just have to get over it (although I’ll feel crappy if he never calls again).
One way I get my mind off of these kinds of things is cooking. Matt and I are still making the healthy lunches for one another every week, and this week I got to make us a gorgeous beet salad [The recipe is adapted from CHOW, but you’ll also find it below as I tweaked some things]. I’d never actually tried, or cooked beets until I had to make this salad, so I was a little scared about making them for the both of us. All that I knew about beets was that they’re earthy, and usually to me that signals a red flag. I’ve never loved “earthy” foods, but beets really surprised me.
For this recipe, I used both red, and yellow beets. They’re both earthy, but the yellow ones, when cooked, have this delicious sweetness to them. It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted. The red ones are sweet too, but it’s a deeper sweetness, and they’re more hearty.
They do grow little fibers, so I was sure to wash them with a bristled brush before I popped them into the oven.
The yellow ones are pretty, but the red ones have this beautiful deep color that’s to die for. I wish everything I opened up surprised me so much.
One thing that always makes me laugh about being an amateur is that sometimes I don’t have the tools necessary. I don’t have a citrus zester, so I had to peel the lemon, and chop the peel to get my lemon zest. It’s kind of embarassing to admit to having to do stuff like that, but you have to start somewhere, and when I’m finally not poor, I’ll laugh later when I can actually zest my lemons properly.
Making the vinaigrette was also one of my favorite parts of this dish. Champagne vinegar, dijon mustard, shallots, salt, petter, lemon juice, and olive oil. It was probably one of the best ones I’ve had. I want to do a blog later on on JUST vinaigrettes.
One thing I would wish someone would tell me about beets, is that they bleed, and they stain, so don’t wear something you like, and always wash your hands after you handle them. My cutting board has a nice pink stain showing off my beet cooking.
And finally, the beautiful final product. If you would have told me that I would love beets, I would have called you crazy, but this is one of those insane recipes that just work. The earthy sweetness and meatiness of the beets, paired with the crème fraîche, sweet fennel, walnuts (Yeah, forreal!), and the tangy capers and bold vinaigarette makes this dish one that I’ll be inclined to make again after our healthy lunch thing is over. I’m really in love.
Check out the recipe below. It’s pretty straight forward, but It’ll take you a while. It’s just got a lot going on.[purerecipe]