Edible Monterey Bay

ROASTED BEET AND ARUGULA SALAD WITH WALNUTS AND FETA CHEESE

By Myra Goodman and Sarah LaCasse, Earthbound Farm

Serves 4 as a side salad

1 pound Roasted Baby Beets, at room temperature (see instructions below)
About 1/3 cup Orange Walnut Vinaigrette (recipe follows) or Walnut Balsamic Vinaigrette
5 ounces (about 6 cups) baby arugula, carefully rinsed and dried, if needed
2 blood oranges or naval oranges, segmented (optional)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup Spiced Candied Walnuts, or 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

  1. Cut the beets in half or quarters so that they are bite size. If you are using larger beets, cut them into 1/2-inch dice. Place the beets in a small bowl, add 1 to 2 table-spoons of the vinaigrette, and toss until the beets are coated. The salad can be prepared to this stage 1 day in advance, if desired.
  2. Just before you plan to serve the salad, place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Add about 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Toss to lightly coat the arugula, then taste to see if more vinaigrette is needed.
  3. Transfer the arugula to a platter or individual salad plates. Arrange the beets and orange segments, if using, on top of the greens and sprinkle the feta and walnuts over them. Serve immediately.

Roasted Baby Beets

1 pound baby beets, preferably an assortment of varieties
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. Trim off the beet greens, leaving the stringy root end and about 1/2 inch of the stem attached. Set the beet greens aside for another use. Rinse the beets under cool water and gently scrub them with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt. Dry the beets with paper towels.
  3. Place the beets in a shallow baking dish and coat them with the olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the beets. Tightly cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake the beets until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes (larger beets will take longer).
  5. Let the beets cool thoroughly enough to handle, then, using a paring knife, remove the stems and stringy roots and slip off the skins. If you are using different cooked beets, cook, and keep each variety separate until serving so that the colors do not blend together. The beets can rest for up to 2 hours at room temperature. They can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days.

Orange Walnut Vinaigrette

Makes about 11/4 cups

1/2 cup good-quality roasted walnut oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice or blood orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
5 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

Place all the ingredients in a glass jar and seal the lid tightly. Shake the jar vigorously to combine. Let the dressing sit at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop before serving. The vinaigrette can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 1 month. Let it return to room temperature before using.

From Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook
Copyright 2006 by Myra Goodman
Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. New York
All Rights Reserved

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APPLE BUTTER

By Jordan Champagne, Happy Girl Kitchen Co.

Many people back East have fond memories of tasting apple butter in Amish Country. Pennsylvania is one of the few places where apple butter is still being served alongside homemade bread. Apple butter is definitely an Old-World method of preserving apples that has nearly been lost—we love bringing recipes like this one back! I add apple cider vinegar to my recipe to add tartness. Some recipes call for adding sugar and water but I like to use apple cider instead.

A wonderful treat is using apple butter with good Gruyere cheese on freshly baked bread. (Beaufort cheese is my favorite.) Ah, the good life!

Ingredients

8 pounds apples (I like to use a mixture of sweet and tart varieties for a well-rounded, full-bodied flavor)
1 cup apple cider vinegar (ACV)
3 cups apple cider
1 and 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger (optional)

Instructions

  1. If you are using a food mill or a colander, chop up the apples including the peels and cores for additional flavor.
  2. If you are using a hand-held immersion blender, peel and core apples. Then chop apples.
  3. Cook apples in cider for 50 minutes until they soften and begin to break apart.
  4. Using the food grinder/colander or immersion blender, mash the apples into a smooth applesauce.
  5. Add spices and ACV. Cook on a low temperature until desired thickness is achieved, about 3 to 4 hours. The trick is to avoid burning it by constantly stirring and keeping your patience, which is why it can take a whole community to make a good pot of apple butter.
  6. I have recently tried the fabulous idea of cooking the apple butter in a Crock-Pot for the final thickening. The goal is to cook it down long enough so that the sugars begin to caramelize and it turns a deep, dark brown.
  7. Once desired thickness is achieved, ladle into clean jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes at 210° F.

Yields about 16 1/2 pints.

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