Winter salad is still delicious. ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

01 December 2008

Winter salad is still delicious.

Post-thanksgiving no one wants to go anywhere near the kitchen. Ok, no one would want to go near the kitchen if it weren't for the half a pie still in the refrigerator. They certainly don't want to spend a lot of time cooking elaborate steaming dinner, though.

After all the warm comforting soporific thanksgiving food, I wanted refreshing, easy vegetables. I wanted a salad. Fortunately, there are a lot of salads around that work well for winter: hot egg salad with potato and green beans, grain salad vinaigrette, and beet salad.

Beet and goat cheese salad

half a huge beet, or a whole medium one
goat cheese
olive oil
fresh parsley
salt, pepper

Put a pot of water on to boil. Scrub your beet under the kitchen faucet, getting all the dirt off the skin. Trim off the stem and the root edges, then put the beet gently into your now boiling water. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the beet is tender. This should take at least a half hour, or more if you have a really gargantuan beet. Test it with a knife point.

Drain off the hot water and shock the beet with a cold plunge. This will stop it from continuing to cook, and make it cool down enough to handle a little faster. If you want a seriously cold beet salad, you can put it in the refrigerator for a bit before assembly. I like a slightly warm salad, so I just went for it.

Rub the beet with your thumbs to loosen the skin. The outer layer should peel off really easily, leaving you with a shiny, slippery, really juicy and stain-prone beet. Don't drop it! In fact, put it on the cutting board and chop it in half right away. Then put the halves on their cut sides so they can't roll onto the floor.

Cut as much beet as you want for your salad into reasonable salad-sized pieces. You can save the rest for making the same salad again tomorrow. Stick the pieces into your salad bowl, drizzle them with a little olive oil, and toss them gently.

Break up some crumbles of goat cheese and strew them over the chopped beet. Goat cheese is pretty strong, but beets are strong too: these two can stand up to each other. Be generous with the cheese.

Chop up some fresh parsley and add that to the bowl. Drizzle a little more olive oil, and maybe a little white wine vinegar, over the salad. Salt sparingly; pepper vigorously.

Now eat it.

Afterward you can have some more pie.

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