617: Beet, Cantaloupe and Sorrel
equal parts beets
50ish leaves of sorrel
I steamed the beets and then cut them into half inch cubes. Then I cut the cantaloupe to match. I wanted to add pine nuts and some kind of cheese, but we were out of pine nuts. Thrown for a loss, I rolled around in my head looking for something that would give the beets and cantaloupe a little spark. Beets and cantaloupe are both great, but both have kinda back-seat, lay-low flavor. Somehow, I came up with sorrel. So Opal and I went out back to the elk highway and picked a big bowl of sorrel. It's July, so it isn't quite as tangy and nice as it is earlier in the year, but it still had the missing piece.
vinegar (white wine)
salt and pepper
I wanted a fairly subtle dressing because the three main ingredients disappear quite easily behind stronger flavors. I never measure dressing, but I'd guess it was 2 parts oil, 1.5 parts vinegar and 1.5 parts lemon juice. I tossed it with the salad.
Salad #618: Roast Veggie with Caramelized Onion Dressing
Salad greens (I used a mix of spinach and mixed lettuces)
Roasting veggies (I used beets, mushrooms and carrots)
Roast the vegetables. The important thing is to roast them separately (ie, beets with beets, carrots with carrots.) This allows you to control the done-ness of each exactly to your liking. I steam-roasted the beets covered, but oil-roasted the carrots and mushrooms uncovered. The sugars in the carrots started caramelizing toward the end, which made them yummy.
Cut up the salad greens. You don't want the vegetables to disappear into the leaves, so cut the lettuce into about the same size as you cut the vegetables.
lots of olive oil
vinegar (rice or white wine)
titch of sesame oil
titch of salt
If you've never caramelized onions before, the tricks are small pan, low heat, lots of oil and lots of time. Heat the pan. Add the oil. Cut the onion in half and then slice thinly, so that onion falls apart in the pan of its own accord. Cook slowly, slowly. I cooked these for two hours. I put them on as the very first step to preparing dinner and then just let them back-burner their way along. Finally, it was time to eat, so I took them off and dumped them and the oil into a canning jar (because it's heat proof.) I added an equal part vinegar and just a hint of sesame oil to round out the flavor. I can't remember adding salt, but it's hard to imagine I didn't. This is an intense, rich dressing so I'd recommending serving it on the side with a fork to scoop out the onions.