Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolution #1: Eat Healthier! Roasted Beet Salad with Spinach, Blue Cheese, Almonds & Tangerine Dressing

In June 2009, on a day when I was home sick, and on a whim, I created There’s a Newf in My Soup! I knew absolutely zilch about food blogging. What I designed as a way to memorialize our Coronado Summer Concerts in the Park Culinary Challenges, has blossomed into a passionate new hobby. Somehow, between May and December 2009, I managed to share close to 70 posts with 50,000 visitors from around the world!  Isn’t it interesting what happens when we venture down a new path?!  I'm not sure where this path will lead, but I'm loving the journey so far...

I’ve had no shortage of blog post material, with our incredible Concert in the Park season, holiday and theme parties, annual gingerbread competition, and The Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks’ monthly Challenges. In between, I’ve enjoyed sharing recipes from our growing collection of cookbooks and recreating dishes we’ve enjoyed at local restaurants. I’ve learned so much about blogging, cooking, food styling and photography, and international cuisine in the past six months.  I sincerely appreciate all of the support and comments I’ve received, and look forward to exciting culinary experiences and challenges in 2010.

Although I have a long list of resolutions and goals for the New Year, eating healthier and exercising more is at the top of the list! Let’s see, on the first day of the New Year....I bet I’m not alone in those two! However, I’ve resolved myself to the fact I’m never going to give up pasta, wine, and chocolate, so I guess it’s going to have to be smaller portions and at least five hours of exercising, nine days a week.

I'm not a big salad eater, but I came across this one yesterday, and we enjoyed it for New Year’s Eve and lunch today. The roasted beets are so delicious, especially with this tangerine dressing.

Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello
(Slightly modified)

For the Salad:
4 medium red beets (about 1 pound), stems trimmed off
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups baby leaf spinach
Crumbled blue cheese
Toasted almonds
1 tangerine (sectioned)

For the dressing:
1 1/2 cups tangerine juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the beets in a baking pan, drizzle with the oil, and season with salt. Cover with foil. Bake for about 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a knife.

While the beets are roasting, make the dressing:  In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, reduce the tangerine juice to about 1/2 cup.  Remove from the heat and strain with a fine sieve. Return to the saucepan, add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Over medium heat, reduce until the mixture bubbles and has a syrup-like consistency.  You should have about 1/4 cup. Remove from the heat and strain again. Let cool to room temperature. Add the olive oil. Set aside.

Peel the beets, and thinly slice them into rounds (after slicing, I used a round cutter to make perfect rounds).  Pour the dressing into a skillet and bring to a simmer.  Turn off heat, add the spinach and gently coat with dressing until just slightly wilted.  Arrange the beets and tangerine sections around the perimeter of the salad plates, place a mound of spinach in the center, and garnish with crumbled blue cheese and toasted almonds.

Cheers, and Happy New Year!
Denise, John, and the Newfs, Dooley & Diver

1 comment:

Sara said...

This looks delicious! Healthy, too!