This is the first in another series which will focus on recipes I eat or love from restaurants and how to create them and improve them at home.
God doesn’t want us to just be good, but to be great!
I’m not typically a “salad at restaurants” kind of girl. I just feel like I can make a pretty good salad at home and would rather not spend my hard earned money eating greens at a restaurant. However, I make some exceptions, especially when it comes to unique combinations. I’ve ordered this salad on repeat occasions at Parador Restaurant (tapas and sangria) in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin because it is just so good. I had to try my hand at a homemade version.
The key to this salad is the pickled beets – which admittedly take a little bit of preparation. But one hour (maybe 1.5) of preparation gives me enough beets for a year’s worth of mouth-watering salads.
Spiced and Pickled Beets
2.5 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
10 c. prepared beets
*Note: I clean the beets, cut the tops off, leaving about 2 inches of stems and the roots. Placing largest beets at the bottom of a large saucepan, I boil them in water for about 30 minutes. Run them under cold water and the skins will peel right off. Cut of stems and roots and cut into 1 inch cubes and proceed with pickling.
Combine all your pickling ingredients together in a large pot. Bring it to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon and cloves and add the prepared beets, bringing to a boil once again.
Prepare your canning supplies (this typically makes 8-12 half pint jars for me). Fill jars with beets and top with pickling liquid, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace for processing expansion. Wipe jars dry and place clean, dry lids and bands. Tighten bands with a fingertip only until they resist. Process in a hot water bath for 30 minutes. Cool and store in a dry place.
Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
- 4 cups of your favorite greens, washed, dried and prepared – we LOVE the peppery-ness of arugula
- 4 green onions (scallions), diced
- 20 pieces of pickled beats
- 1 orange, peeled and cut into “supremes” which just means cutting away the pulp and cutting out small wedge shaped pieces
- 1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese (feta works, but I LOVE the creamy goat cheese with these beets)
- Your favorite vinegrette
*Note: I use a bit of olive oil mixed with some of the beet pickling liquid and salt and pepper to taste.
- 1/4 c. candied pecans or walnuts (optional)
Lay your greens evenly on a large platter or in individual bowls. Sprinkle onions over greens and place beets evenly across the salad. Add orange supremes, goat cheese and nuts if using. Dress lightly immediately before serving. I’ve also seen a few of the pickled beets pureed and used to spread on the plate before arranging the greens as a great presentation touch.
My mouth is watering just thinking about my beets. I might need to take a trip to the basement for a jar…