Beetroot & Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

Hump Day fine dining!!! I should have spent the evening getting my ass kicked at Fierce45 (Lagree method = pilates on steroids, google it), but instead, B and I took a stroll down to Pearl Street and bought a bottle of wine. Because that’s how we cook.

Since moving to Colorado I have not been super impressed with the farmer’s market scene, especially when I scroll back through photos of produce from the Union Square farmer’s market (I’m referring to NYC, in case you’re not in the know). I miss those mountains of picturesque rainbow carrots, greens and the stand with the garlic. And let’s be real, the Cherry Creek market has become a) a gathering of food trucks and b) a hassle when you need to go to Bed Bath & Beyond (only when there’s enough time). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VASzXVS9pTw

And then my dad took me flying this weekend (see below, that’s the SuperCub 5-7-Lima). One of his frequent stops is the family farm, where my Uncle John lives. Apparently, my dad buzzes my uncle (flies really low, close to his house), and by the time my dad circles the plane around and lands on the well-made dirt runway, my uncle, aunt, and their lovely puppy show up in a 4-wheeler, ready to cart your ass either to their house, or the big garden.  What lovely service, and accommodating hosts! 🙂

The big garden. I am such an idiot. I come from a long line of farmers. My uncle John still lives on the Cordes farm. For years, they have worked on this glorious garden, and my dad brings back more produce than you can shake a stick at. I felt so ashamed that I’d forgotten this wonder of nature that my family worked so hard to create. Rows of corn, peppers, potatoes, beets, green beans, herbs, carrots, cucumbers, watermelons, squash. Literally anything you could want. Jesus, pull your ass out of your head, Katie.

I have a generous family – I fly in, get to raid the garden without having put in a lick of work, load the produce into the SuperCub, and fly back to Denver.

So today I decided to use the beets I came home with. Googling Mimi Thorrison (I may have been at work when I did this), I came across the below recipe for a beetroot and Jerusalem artichoke salad.

Beetroot & Jerusalem artichoke salad

serves 4

Ingredients

2 large beetroot peeled & cooked

6 small Jerusalem artichokes (topinambours), peeled

½ head of red cabbage

2 shallots, sliced

A few sprigs of chives, finely chopped

4 slices Bigorre black pig bacon, finely sliced (alternatively, if you can’t find this variety, choose a good-quality bacon)

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Coarse sea-salt & black pepper

Directions:

Slice the beetroot (peeled and cooked) into ¼ inch slices.

Place the ‘Bigorre’ bacon slices on a frying pan, pre-heated on a medium heat. Cook on both sides until crispy and golden. Set aside on kitchen paper to absorb excess fat.

Pre-cook the Jerusalem artichokes in salted boiling water and 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (a little trick I learnt to ease digestion) for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Slice into rondelles.

Slice the red cabbage finely and place in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a 2-3 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on a medium heat. Cook shallots for 3 to 4 minutes, add the Jerusalem artichoke slices and cook for a few minutes on each side until slightly golden. You want to keep them al dente. Set aside.

In the same pan, add a little bit of olive oil and gently cook the beetroot slices on both sides for 2 minutes.

Place the beetroot slices on a plate, add the Jerusalem artichokes and shallots. Scatter the red cabbage all over, sprinkle finely chopped chives and place the slice of fried ‘Noir de Bigorre’ bacon (or a lovely piece of bacon) on top. Just before serving, drizzle a few drops of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste.

http://mimithorisson.com/2013/12/09/almost-christmas-lunch/

The blog post associated with this recipe is lovely – cute family living in France, going out to pick a Christmas tree, decorating it, and effortlessly sitting down to dinner.

Enter moi.

Nothing about this is hard, but the time for cooking the beets was NOT included (at least an hour), and in an effort to reduce heat and conserve dirty pans, I used the same pot to cook the beets, as well as the Jerusalem artichokes. Big mistake. Big. Huge.

Image result for big mistake huge

Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it took ages to get everything ready.

Pretty ingredients with a pretty glass of Rose ❤

Look at those beautiful, Cordes-grown beets!!! YUM.

So what I loved about this recipe was that I got to use my beets, and I got to learn about Jerusalem artichokes. WHY IS THIS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER EATEN JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES?!?! As an artichoke aficionado, my mind is boggled that I have never had the joy of these babies gracing my taste buds with their presence.

That said, this was a weird salad. I really do not understand the addition of red cabbage. I’m guessing it was an attempt to balance the salad, but I think we’d be better served with the beetroot and the Jerusalem artichokes on a bed of arugula or mixed greens. So strange. Delicious, but strange. Also, I”m not sure if it was a function of the fact that I got my chives from Sprouts, but they seemed a little lost. And definitely you do not need to add more olive oil and balsamic at the end, as the recipe suggests.

Bacon, of course, is delicious on everything.

Paired with this lovely rose, and a bit of light reading #Francophile #iLoveMimi #wildwomen

Happy Hump Day lovers. xx

Kitchen sink quinoa and roasted beet salad

Bethie had me over for dinner. It was delicious. We were aiming for light and healthy. We had homemade carrot/apple juice, quinoa salad and a roasted beet salad. Beth almost killed me by trying to feed me shrimps (she forgot!), but luckily I noticed right away and she most kindly got out a chicken breast for me. The shrimps and chicken were in a butter, lime, garlic and red curry marinade. Yum.

First – the juice. You need to buy a juicer, or this whole thing doesn’t work. You simply chop up fruit, and drop it in. While I can take the credit for the juicing (okay, you might call it the chopping and dropping), Beth was the creative genius behind the flavors. Two apples (Gala or something similar), two peeled carrots and about an inch of ginger. Delicious and so healthy. It’s really fun too. The clean up didn’t seem great, but Beth was saying the good thing about her juicer is all the parts come apart so you can get them all clean.

Next – the salads. The roasted beet salad was the easiest. The beets were the pre-cooked ones in the plastic package – they’re actually quite nice! We cut up the beets and roasted them in the oven while we prepared everything else. Then they went in the salad bowl with some spinach, roasted walnuts (done quickly over the stove) and goats cheese crumbles. The dressing was rice vinegar and olive oil. I love goat cheese and beets. I also love Beth’s glass bowl and salad tongs.

The quinoa salad is next. I called it the kitchen sink quinoa salad because that’s how we put it together – digging through Beth’s fridge. Luckily she has lots of nice vegetables in her fridge – mine typically has a Brita water filter, beer and condiments. Lately I’ve been stocking those Kozy Shack tapioca puddings too. Tonight I’ve also got some strawberries and celery in there. So, even on a good night, mine is not as great as Beth’s.

Beth prepared the quinoa. I’ve actually never cooked it – it looks easy, but I’m fearful that it is similar to rice – something I’ve never been able to successfully make. Please don’t judge.  I’m told it’s because I peek at it too much, releasing the steam. I had the all important job of chopping the veggies from the fridge. We decided to put in the following: avocado, red onion and red bell pepper. Non fridge items included raisins, almonds and a bit of shredded coconut. I was surprised that Beth had coconut on had and asked what she used it in – to which she said “everything”! Eating at Beth’s seems like it’s more of a party than at mine! Routine use of coconut!?! Fun! We drizzled a bit of the rice vinaigrette from the other salad on this as well.

Beth’s shrimps were pre-cooked, so they just needed to be taken out of the fridge where they’d been marinating, and I cooked my chicken breast on one of those Le Creuset grill pans. I loved that thing! I am definitely getting one! The chicken cooked so well, and it had grill lines on it! The chicken had marinade on it (a bit of butter, smashed garlic, lime juice and red curry sauce), but we sprayed the pan w/a bit of olive oil Pam so it didn’t stick.

This dinner was fabulous – so light, healthy and full of flavor, and not much work at all. We had so many colors on our plates – purples, greens, reds greens, orange – (that’s the new rage – eat as many colors as possible) that it was a treat to look at as well as being quite healthy. I really liked the quinoa salad. I was nervous about the raisins and coconut being too sweet with the savory items, but they came together quite nicely. I’m going to cook some quinoa and let you know how easy it is. It too, is the new rage – apparently the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations has declared 2013 as “The International Year of the Quinoa”. See – and here I am helping you get ahead of the curve! It’s quite healthy for you – it has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties, and has antioxidants and heart healthy fatty acids. Not to mention this was a much more balanced dinner than the one I had the other night that was comprised of one cantaloupe, and one Kozy Shack tapioca pudding. Lol.

Update: After publishing this post, I think my mother was quite distressed at my use of the word “shrimps”, which I do know is not actually a word. Please note I do know that “shrimp” is the singular and plural form of those little things that will kill me.