Life in a Northern Town

Roasted Roots

If there was a theme for the summer of 2012, carrots and what to do with them would be a strong contender. We ate them raw, in cakes and quick breads, roasted in the oven, in soup, and grilled. My favorite was roasted— cut the carrots into slices, add herb salt (recipe here) and olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes. Use a sheet pan large enough so the carrots can be in a single layer without touching— this ensures they will caramelize properly. Hopefully, there will be a few carrots at the farmers market next Saturday, I really want to try my hand at Indian spiced carrot pickles. Maybe the carrot theme will continue into the fall of 2012??

We had a party for Ted's Mom, Anne, before she left at the end of August. I had the carrot portion of the evening covered, now it was time to think about the salad. I had picked up beets at the farmers market in Bayfield earlier in the day, Meg picked a couple cucumbers at Julie's house and I had some of Michael's Buttin' Heads feta in the refrigerator— the salad was taking shape nicely. Salad protocol is pretty simple: something green and leafy, a few vegetables or fruits and a dressing. The room for interpretation is vast and can result in something really tasty.

Spinach Salad with Roasted Beets, Oranges & Pistachios

8 - 10 ounces spinach 4 roasted beets,peeled and sliced 2 oranges, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces 1 cucumber, sliced into 1 inch pieces 1/2 cup pistachios 1/2 cup feta, crumbled

Salad Dressing

1/4 cup shallot, finely chopped 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 4 tbsp red wine vinegar 1/2 cup good olive oil salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Add all salad ingredients to a bowl. Add everything but the olive oil to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add olive oil (with machine running) in a steady stream. Just before serving, lightly toss the salad with just enough dressing to coat the greens and serve immediately.