Summer like weather is here, even it it's not supposed to be this hot yet and that means we have already started to eat like it's July. Last summer, I was knee deep in my no reEATS challenge so The Kid and I were pulling our hair out, trying to come up with things we felt like eating in the hot weather. Generally speaking, I keep all sorts of dips and salads and condiments in the fridge and then we will grill some fish or sausages or a bit of meat and that will be dinner night after night. Some nights we might have some greek pita, other nights a bit of pasta salad, a little chunk of cheese and olives to round out the platter but we are all pretty happy eating basically the same meal night after night.
You know, I was fine with the no repeating a recipe during the cold winter months, but the summer almost killed me. I won't tell you how many nights I broke down and cried in my kitchen because all I wanted was some dip, bread and a bit of grilled salmon but I had to make something brand new because that would be embarrassing to admit, wouldn't it?
Beets are much beloved in this house and there is something about the mixture of walnuts, walnut oil and beets which makes so much sense to me. To me, the two best ways to eat beets are with walnuts or with oranges and thinly shaved fennel and one of these salads is always in heavy rotation during the summer.
Golden Beet Salad
*4 or 5 small golden beets either roasted or steamed, peeled and cut in wedges
big handful of baby arugula
1 tbls white balsamic vinegar
salt to taste
2 tsp honey dijon mustard
2 tbls walnut oil
2 tbls canola or other flavourless veg oil
whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and toss with the beets, walnuts and arugula
*to roast beets, I wrap whole, cleaned beets in some foil (do not peel them) and roast them in a hot oven - 375 to 400F. Of course, if you are already making something in the oven, throw them in there and cook them at whatever temp the other dish is cooking at. If it's lower than 375F, just crank the heat up after your take out your other dish because it can take a couple of hours to roast them if the heat is lower than that. If your beets are HUGE, half them before you wrap them in the foil.
They are ready when they are fork tender and you just take them out of the oven, open the foil and run each one under cold water and the skin should just slip off with a bit of a gentle rub. Set them aside in a shallow bowl and let them cool to room temp.
To steam them, wash them but don't peel them, cut them into halves or quarters and arrange them in a steamer and steam them for at least 20 minutes. Just check them every five or ten minutes after 20 minutes and stop when you can pierce them with a fork.
Run them under the cool water and slip the skins off, set aside to cool to room temp.