Archive for June 5th, 2009

close-up in the shadows

To accompany that fabulous roast last week, I made a whole bunch of other dishes.

Challah – looked pretty, tasted bad (oh well!)

Carrot-Ginger-Orange Soup

Arugula and Herb Salad with Tomatoes and Almonds

Haricots Verts with Garlic and Dill

(the Moroccan Roast)

Pomegranate Chicken – tasty but ugly

Whole Wheat Couscous with Onions

Simple Chocolate Cake

Berries and Grapes

I could never have done it all without the help of my fabulous friend Tammie whom you may recall I rely on for music recommendations and fun nights out.

She showed up about 3 hours before dinner in a little black dress, threw on an apron, and asked to be put to work. Now, I’m a little proprietary about my kitchen and it’s sometimes difficult for me to give up control, but Tammie is so pleasant to work with. She could not have been a more willing participant, happy to help however she could, jumping right in and constantly asking what else she could. Tammie donned a pair of perfectly fitting surgical gloves that I had left over from my old days in the hospital to peel beets (and then refused to take them off…they protect the nails, you know?), stirred pots, tasted dishes and made seasoning recommendations, helped put away the magazines that always seem to litter my living room, made me jump in the shower when it was clear that I might never dress for dinner, and made sure the evening went by flawlessly. By the time the guests arrived, the table was ready to be set and all the food were waiting to be served. We had a great time prepping dinner, hanging out in the kitchen, catching up on the week, and I was able to really enjoy my food and dinner guests rather than worrying about last minute details as I sometimes do.

This was one of my favorite dinner parties ever. Thanks Tammie.

Salad with Beets and Ruby Red Grapefruit

spinach beet grapefruit salad panorama

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New American Cooking: The Southwest by Kathi Long. We cheated and used pomegranate juice instead of fresh pomegranate and didn’t have any seeds for the salad, but it was beautiful and tasty without. Tammie pretty much made this entire salad on her own while I rushed around and did other things.

Serves 6-8 (with enough leftover dressing to marinate chicken shish-kabobs for a picnic…more details on that to come).

8  beets

kosher salt to taste

2-3 T extra virgin olive oil

1/3 to 1/2 C pure pomegranate juice (I used POM; original recipe called for 1 large and 1 small pomegranate, the former to be juiced, the latter to be seeded…I’m just a little lazy)

6 T orange-flavored extra virgin olive oil

NOTE: I use O blood orange olive oil – no hechscher on the bottle, but for those questioning its hashkachah, 1) I  bought it in an all kosher grocery store in Miami, Sarah’s Tent under supervision of “Kosher Miami” – the Vaad of Miami-Dade and 2) wait for my exegesis on cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil…it’s in the editing stages. I have contacted O regarding their kashrut status, but have not heard back from them. If you don’t have orange-flavored olive oil, you could probably substitute extra virgin olive oil + fresh orange zest

sugar to taste (I used ~1T)

2 large ruby red grapefruits

Several handfuls of baby spinach, rinsed and large stems removed (original recipe called for 2 bunches of watercress, tough stems removed)

Prepare beets. Trim any beet greens, leaving 1 inch of stems. Place unpeeled beets in a saucepan with water to cover by 3-inches and bring to a boil. Add salt, cover partially, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then peel and cut each beet into 6 wedges. Wear gloves to prevent staining your fingers. Toss with 2-3 T olive oil in bowl, sprinkle with salt and set aside.

Prepare grapefruit suprêmes. I have described this methodology for cutting citrus segments from their membranes in an earlier post and Tammie picked it up really quickly.

Make dressing. Whisk 1/3 – 1/2 C pomegranate juice, sugar, orange-flavored olive oil, and salt together and taste on a piece of spinach. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

salad components, ready to assemble

Assemble salad. Arrange spinach, grapefruit sections, and beets on individual plates or large platter or bowl and drizzle lightly with dressing.


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