Thursday, September 2, 2010

Salad Days

With this ongoing heat, the phrase "salad days" seems appropriate (although according to Wikipedia, the term actually refers to someone at the peak of his or her abilities). Hopefully I'm working up to that!

One nice thing about this summer has been trying some new recipes. Three new salad recipes are being added to the repertoire:

--Beet and goat cheese salad. I've actually done this before but was inspired to try again after hearing about Nicola's inclusion of beets in her recent cooking class. Michelle shared some little baby beets from the market with me and I roasted them per Nicola's instruction (cut off tips and tails, salt and pepper, wrap in foil and bake at 425 for 1-1/4 hours--skins then come off easily). I roasted string beans as well (don't know why this has been intimidating--just add a little salt, pepper and olive oil and put them in the oven at 425 for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally--they just need to carmelize a bit--delicious!) I cooked them early in the day and then let them warm to room temperature before serving (which took about five minutes in this incredible heat!) To round it off, I added toasted walnuts and goat cheese. Really tasty and colorful!

--Island Pork Tenderloin. This dish was served at the ladies' golf luncheon at the Club and it was quite delicious. It takes a bit of prep work with the searing and then the brown sugar glaze (which I think is what puts it over the top) but it is easy and fairly light. Will report back after I serve it at my own ladies' luncheon (which is getting bigger by the day--I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, so to speak!)

--Arugula Salad with goat cheese, toasted or candied walnuts and carmelized red onions. I tried this salad after buying a huge thing of arugula so that I'd have a couple of sprigs to put on my strawberry goat cheese bruschetta (another interesting dish--maybe I should have that as the starter at the ladies' luncheon...) I think the trick to this dish is the carmelized red onions--finishing them with a bit of balsamic seems to add to the dish. (I happened to see this on a food show with Ina Gardener but it was also in the recipe.) One note: you can never carmelize too many onions--they shrink down incredibly! I liked the toasted walnuts better than candied, although that might have been my poor job of candying them as they turned out sticky.

That's my take on Julia and Julia for the day!

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