Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Locavore Kitchen: Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Tahini Dressing and Parmesan Pastry Twists

This post doesn't have just one recipe, or two recipes, but three recipes (hooray!) It was inspired by some gorgeous golden beets from the farmer's market, a desire to eat salads ALL THE TIME now that it's warm out, my love of tahini, and my need to use two extra pie crusts I had sitting in my fridge after I accidentally doubled the recipe when I made the dough for this pie and this quiche last week.

These recipes can easily be made separately...the salad would be great with other dressings, the tahini dressing can also be used as a dip for pita chips and veggie sticks, and the Parmesan pastry twists would be great with soup, or as a snack on their own!

Let's start off by making a salad with lots of colorful Spring veggies, shall we?

Scrub your off any fine little roots that are attached to them. Cut them into bite-sized pieces, staining your fingers a beautiful goldenrod color. Toss them with oil and salt and pepper and roast them till they're as sweet as candy.

Slice your scallions. Soak them in ice water...mellow them out.

Slice your cuke in half, scoop out the seeds, slice fancy!

While you're at it, grate your green apple. Chew on the apple core for a while...don't waste any of that apple-y goodness! (P.S. I totally forgot to take pics of this step...oops!)

Thinly slice your lettuce (or tear it into pieces with your bare hands if you're getting super tired of cutting things up).

Make homemade'll be glad you did. Throw a bunch of things in a food processor...allow your culinary robot to do most of the work for you.

Pile your salad things on a plate, add some dressing, anticipate yumminess.

Time to make something cheesy and flaky and heavenly.

Liberally flour your work surface (and your rolling pin, and your hands, and the floor.)

Roll out your pastry dough...feel SUPER accomplished when it doesn't get any holes.

Brush your dough with olive oil (basil-infused oil is twice as nice!)

Sprinkle a quarter cup of Parmesan on your dough. Decide it's not NEARLY enough and sprinkle a quarter cup more.

Give your cooking assistant some cheese...he'll appreciate it.

 Roll out your second pastry dough. Feel slightly less accomplished when it gets LOTS of holes in it. Layer it on top of of the first dough. Cut it into strips.

Twist your layered dough strips...don't worry when they fall apart. The cheese will melt in the oven and hold everything together.

Pull them out of the oven when everything starts to get super golden brown.

Serve with salad and your homemade dressing. Totally a perfect lunch!

Roasted Golden Beet Salad
Makes 2 Servings
Original recipe

1 bunch golden beets, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used leftover basil-infused oil)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 purple scallion, thinly sliced
1 small hothouse cucumber, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced
1 small green apple, shredded
1/2 head of red leaf lettuce, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss beets in olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, soak sliced purple scallions in ice water.

Layer lettuce, cucumbers, scallions, apple, and roasted beets on two plates. Serve with tahini dressing.

Tahini Dressing
Makes about 1 1/2 Cups

1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 small garlic scape (or 1 clove garlic)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add additional water to thin the dressing to your desired consistency. Refrigerate leftover dressing.

Parmesan Pastry Twists
Makes 16 Twists
Original recipe

Pastry dough for 2 pie crusts (preferably homemade - I used this recipe)
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used leftover basil-infused oil)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grease two baking sheets.

Flour your work surface and roll one of your pastry doughs into a rectangle (approximately 6"x12").

Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Roll out your second pastry dough into a rectangle and place on top of the first pastry dough.

Slice your layered dough vertically into 16 strips. Carefully twist each strip by hand, and place on one of your prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

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