Carpaccio of Roast Beets on Mâche Leaves With Fresh Goat Cheese and Balsamic Dressing By Zester Daily Staff
Sure you've been great about eating a nice healthy salad for lunch at least a few days every week. How can you beat salad for a good nutritious crunch? But the same old lettuce, tomatoes, onion and croutons gets real old, real fast.
Take a break from boring salads with these tasty, exotic alternatives from our Zester Daily contributors:
#1 -- Lentil Salad with Olive Oil and Egyptian Spices (Coriander Seeds)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
½ teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds
½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
1 cup dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed well
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a small saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat with the garlic. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, remove from the burner, add the cumin, coriander, cardamom and fenugreek, stir, and set aside.
2. Place the lentils in a medium-size saucepan of lightly salted cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until al dente, about 25 minutes from the time you turned the heat on.
3. Drain lentils and toss with the garlic, olive oil and spices while still hot. Season with salt and pepper, toss, and arrange on a serving platter, drizzling the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top. Serve at room temperature.
#2 -- Ensalada con Salpicón (Shredded Beef Salad)
You can use the Romaine lettuce in this recipe from Charles Perry as an opportunity to convert this salad into finger food. Just use the smaller interior leaves of romaine, which can easily serve as little boats for conveying this beefy "salad dressing" to the mouth.
Serves 2 as salad, 6-8 as appetizer
1 pound chuck or round steak
¼ to ½ cup olive oil
½ onion, minced
½ clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon oregano
3 tomatoes, cut in eighths
1 tablespoon pickled capers
5 tablespoons vinegar
1 head romaine lettuce
1. Poach the meat in water until quite tender, about 2 hours. (This can be done in about ½ hour in a pressure cooker.)
2. Drain the meat and shred by tearing apart with two forks.
3. Heat ¼ cup oil in a pan, add the onion, garlic, oregano and shredded meat and fry, stirring often, until the meat is browned and the onion is softened.
4. Chop one of the tomatoes and stir it into the meat along with the vinegar. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on a plate and top with salpicón and the remaining tomatoes.
#3 -- Carpaccio of Roast Beets on Mâche Leaves
With Fresh Goat Cheese and Balsamic Dressing
For this vibrant ruby red, green and white salad from Sue Style, the beets are roasted, peeled, thinly sliced and arranged on a bed of mâche "tongues." The salad is drizzled with a balsamic dressing and garnished with soft fresh goat cheese.
4 smallish beets (closer to golf ball than tennis ball size)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 good handfuls of mâche
5 ounces (150g) soft fresh goat cheese, cut in wedges
1. Cut greenery from beets. Scrub them well but do not peel or trim the tails or the beets will "bleed."
2. Place beets on a large sheet of foil, sprinkle with oil, salt and pepper and close up the foil to make a snug package.
3. Bake in a 350 F oven for 1½ to 2 hours or until the beets feel slightly soft when pressed, and the skin rubs off easily.
4. Remove package from the oven, and let beets cool in the foil.
5. When cool, rub off the skins or pull them away with a small sharp knife.
6. Pluck the leaves off most of the mâche (reserve some whole rosettes to decorate) and arrange the leaves. around the edge of the plates, like little green tongues.
7. Slice the beets very thinly and arrange the slices in concentric circles inside the ring of mâche leaves.
8. Mix together the walnut oil and Balsamic vinegar and drizzle this over the beets.
9. Arrange reserved mâche rosettes in the centre of the beets and scatter cubes of goat's cheese on top.
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