Monday, April 20, 2009

Beets Me

I received my second CSA from Fish Hawk Acres on Friday, just before I went out of town for the weekend.  So while I haven't yet gotten to the recipes from Chef Hawkins,  I'm especially excited about this delivery and it's recipes.   In addition to the wonderful salad greens, Asian greens, baby radishes, and pea tendrils, it includes a variety of colorful beets;golden, bull's blood and champagne ice.  The reason that I am particularly excited about the beets is because until last year, I had never tasted a beet. It always seemed like an odd vegetable to me, and no matter how much beet advocates insisted on their natural, earthy sweetness,  I could never get past their ugly exterior (In their natural state, I think they resemble the tail of a rodent).  

Thankfully last year, while out to dinner with some friends in Lenox, Massachusetts, I decided to put my preconceptions aside, and try this less than beautiful root vegetable. I was absolutely amazed at how much I liked them, so much so that I made a promise to myself that I would learn how to prepare them at home. Now, with the guidance of Chef Hawkin's Whole Roasted Beet Salad recipe, I'll be able to fulfill that promise this week, stay tuned for the results.

In the meantime, here is one last recipe from week 1 of my Fish Hawk Acres CSA, which is far too delicious to keep to myself. Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon Ramp Dressing, courtesy of Chef Hawkins.


2-3 cups fresh spinach, stemmed, washed and spun
1/4 cup ramps, minced
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
4 slices bacon
1 Tbsp. bacon drippings
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper

  • Place prepared spinach in a large bowl.  Refigerate, tightly covered
  • Fry bacon until crisp, remove to paper towel and set aside
  • Saute' he minced ramps in the bacon drippings for about 5 minutes over low heat
  • Add sugar, vinegar, water, salt and pepper
  • Toss the chpped egg with the greens then pour the hot dressing over the greens, toss again lightly
  • Top with crumbled bacon

Note for vegetarians: Bacon can easily be omitted.  Use Olive Oil in place of bacon drippings.

Cooks note: I was out of bacon so I substituted some ham that I had leftover from Easter dinner.

P.S.  This is a recipe that I will surely repeat many times, it was so simple to make and really tasty.  It also was a perfect salad to pair the last piece of my Whole Wheat Country Sourdough bread from Jeff's Breads in Renick.  

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