I hope you all had a wonderful times during the holidays. Like most of you I always feel blessed, loved, grateful, refreshed, relaxed but I also caught myself wishing for a little spring in my step the other morning. Beside the rich(er) foods, we also did indulge a bit more in lounging on the sofa late a night. And you know how that goes: the cozier you get, the cozier you want to stay, Unfortunately it's not conducive to getting things done. But dang, aren't holidays nice?
I like when holidays are short and sweet like this. I like working a lot more than I like lounging around (for now) so when I need to raise my mental and physical ressources I tend to pile tons of colors and clean, fresh foods on one plate. Dinners revolve around a big pot of soup and lunches are most often a big "Salade Composee" (composed salad) of some of my favorite vegetables. Roasted golden beets, fennel, radish, savoy salad, mixed greens. I admit that I have never met a vegetable I did not like and I love to build salads and meals by color.
I don't live with a picky eater, on the contrary, B. is alright with trying just about anything. Unless it's beets. Just say the word beets and I get the face, the swinging head, the tapping feet, the clenched fists...Ok, maybe not this bad but beets are definitely ground for heated discussions. So what is a stubborn Taurean like me to do when faced with a stubborn Leo? Yes, get golden beets instead of red and roast them instead of pickling them. And cross all fingers hoping he'll like them while not revealing my secret vegetable.
I tried to sit as normal as I could, and eat at my normal (fast) pace but really I was carefully looking at his fork aiming for the beets, missing them, diving in, missing them. Come on man! Finally it happened. He ate a beet. A roasted golden beet. And he liked it. But I had to promise to never do this again. Ahahah!
I tend to stay with simple vinaigrettes but I do like to add toasted nuts or crumbled cheese. This time I went with dried cranberries and a little bit of feta for a complete "salad as a meal" idea. There are no strict rules for the vegetables or greens to use, add-ins and extras like nuts or fruits. Add a couple of bread slices or some gluten free polenta croutons one day and you have everything covered. Use what you enjoy and what makes you feel happy to eat and share.
Besides, getting refreshed after the holidays, this type of meal is ideal to prepare for a two day marathon of sweet samplings like the one I am about to undertake. All in the name of research of course. I am completely psyched to be a keynote speaker in an event called Sugar Coma. Shameeka from The Broke Socialite is the mastermind behind this event dedicated to sampling the best of Atlanta's sweet spots and you can bet that I jumped "yes" when she asked me to contribute to the event!
If that wasn't good enough already, my pal Tami asked if I'd be interested in teaching a macaron workshop at some point during my stay as she knew quite a few people, bloggers and non bloggers who wanted to learn how to make them. As the super efficient girl that she is, she had a dozen people signed up in less than 24 hours. Add another sweet surprise to the mix: Bakerella herself is taking the class/workshop! I am currently coming up with little surprises of my own and swag bags to give out to all the attendees.
B. thinks I am having way too much fun planning this whole trip. Yep! The macaron workshop is full but registration for Sugar Coma is now live!. If you are in Atlanta or surroundings, I hope you will come join us for one fun day of bakery touring in the city! Sweet surprises guaranteed!
Serves 2 hungry people
For the salad:
4 golden beets
1 large handful mixed greens
1 large handful savoy salad
1 bunch radishes, washed, stems cut off and quartered
1/2 fennel bulb, washed and sliced thin
1 small handful of Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 350F. Wash the beets and cut the stems off. Place them in a piece of foil and close it tight. Roast the beets for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool, and carefully open the foil packet. Peel the beets and set aside.
With your hands, tear the salads and parsley in small pieces and divide all the vegetables evenly among 2 large plates. Top with the some dried cranberries and some feta. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.
For the vinaigrette:
Check David's post on how the French like and make their vinaigrette. I nod in complete approval.
This time I used some pink salt (the bits of broken rocks are salt crystals), freshly ground mixed peppercorns and garlic instead of shallots.
Le p'tit coin en francais:
Pour la salade:
4 moyennes betterave orange
1 belle poignee de salade melangee
1 belle poignee de salade chou rouge (ou equivalent colore)
1 petit bouquet de radis, lave et coupes en quatre
1/2 fenouil, lave et coupe en tranches fines
1 petite poignee de persil plat
cranberries seches (ou autres fruits secs)
feta, en morceaux (ou chevre, feta salata, etc...)
Prechauffez le four a 350F/175C. Mettez les betteraves dans un morceau de papier d'alu et les faire cuire 20-30 minutes. Laissez le paquet refroidir avant de l'ouvrir. Epluchez les betteraves et coupez les en quatres.
Partagez les salades et legumes dans deux grandes assiettes et ajoutez les cranberries seches et le fromage. Ajoutez quelques cuillieres de vinaigrette suivant votre gout.
Vinaigrette moutarde - echalotte. Traduit de David Lebovitz:
une pincee de sel
une cuilliere a soupe de vinaigre
1/2 echalotte, pelee et emincee
1/2 cuilliere a cafe de moutarde
3 a 4 cuillieres a soupe d'huile d'olive
Dans un petit bol, melangez le sel, vinaigre et echalotte et laissez reposer 10 minutes. Ajoutez la moutarde et ensuite 3 cuilleres a soupe d'huile et melangez bien. Si la vinaigrette est trop forte, ajouter de l'huile.
Si vous desirez ajouter des herbes, faites le au dernier moment pour qu'elles restent aussi fraiches que possible.