Salads and Side Dishes

Summer Green Salad

Dear Summer Solstice, 
Thank you for your arrival yesterday. While I’ve been pacing and anticipating your sunshine and pool time, I forgot the negative affects of heat and humidity in New England. As my friend and co-worker said it, “it feels like I am walking through soup.” How am I supposed to want to do anything in this heat? What am I supposed to make for dinner that actually sounds palatable when you are melting us away?

                     Thank you, welcome, now go away,
                      Jamie 

Dear Jamie-
Toughen up. People live their whole lives here and never complain. You recently went on a fabulous trip to Chicago, which is usually blasted with heat and humidity in the summer. Remember that wonderful Summer Salad you had at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba? The one with the beautiful yellow beets, fresh asparagus, and delightful lemon-chive vinaigrette? Recreate it.

-Summer Solstice

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour    Cooking Time: 30 minutes   Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

3 yellow beets
1 bunch (roughly 3/4 lb) thin stemmed asparagus
1 Belgian endive, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 English cucumber, ends removed, halved, and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
6 cups (roughly) baby lettuce greens
2 lemons, juiced
1 lemon, zest
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chives, minced
salt and pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Scrub the beets with a food brush to get rid of as much dirt as you can. Pat them dry and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for one hour or until tender with a fork.
  • Remove from the oven and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. When you are able to handle them, use a pairing knife to remove the skin. Chop them into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Trim the ends from the asparagus. Saute in a medium pan for 3-4 minutes, or until they are starting to cook through. You want them to remain crunchy.
  • To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, and minced chives. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Assemble the salad by placing the mixed greens in a serving bowl. Add the remaining vegetables and toss with the dressing. Serve immediately.
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