I’m from Colorado but I’ve lived in Baltimore going on 5 years this November. I grew up not knowing much about humidity. Baltimore has furthered my education in humidity though. In the almost 5 years here in humidity central I have learned to deal with this minor nuisance. After all, my garden is quite happy with the way the weather is here, and the tomatoes seem to love this hot humid weather the best. About every 5 to 8 days we tend to get a gift from drier climates west of here and dry air blows in from somewhere out there.
On these special days I pay extra attention to what chores there are to do outside and I also like to go for a good hike while this gift of great weather is with us. My wife and I celebrate these special days and say something like, “wow, it feels like Colorado weather”, or something like that. This summer is different though. So far it seems there have been twice as many dry weather days than the first 4 summers had, and they string together for 2-3 days in a row instead of 1-2. We are in the midst of one of those stretches now with 3 in a row and counting. To celebrate the great weather I already played in the vegie garden and harvested a mixed bag of beets for a special salad, and plan to hike the Gunpowder River later today to celebrate this wonderful dry and not too hot day.
Before going off on a hiking adventure with my 14 week old German Shepard puppy Tucker I decided to test a beet recipe that was forming in my mind. I suspect there may be a similar recipe out there in foodie land, but it’s a first for me. I wanted to join beets, goat cheese crumbles, fresh squeezed orange juice and toasted walnuts together to make a salad fitting for a beautiful summer day. This salad will grace the dinner table alongside fresh green beans from Huber’s Farm just up the road in Kingsville, sauteed Swiss Chard from my garden, and King Salmon from Alaska.
All of these foods are summer foods, and go great together. The citrus in the beet salad will complement the salmon nicely, the chard will be good and full of galrlic goodness, and the green beans will add a nice color to the plate.
Even though the salad is not as fast and furious as I would usually do I don’t mind waiting 35 minutes for the beets to simmer. After cooking and cooling the beets the salad goes together quickly, and some things just can’t, or shouldn’t be rushed. It should turn out to be an excellent summer meal, and with any luck we can enjoy it ourt doors on our patio. Now that it’s officially summer I wish you the best of fun and food with family and friends, and be sure to celebrate beautiful weather where ever you live, or vacation.
Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Curry Roasted Walnuts
1 bunch of beets,about 1 1/2 cups cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
1 teaspoon minced chives
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon minced orange zest
2 teaspoons walnut oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Trim and boil or roast beets, about 35 minutes, then cool, peel and cut into bite sized pieces.
While beets are cooking toast walnuts in a saute pan with 1 teaspoon of the oil. This takes about 6-8 minutes on medium to medium low heat stirring or tossing often. Add curry powder, salt and pepper after 5 minutes of cooking.
Mix beets, orange juice, orange zest, goat cheese, 1/3 cup walnuts, chives, salt and pepper until just combined. Serve on top of leaf lettuce or shredded lettuce with a few more walnuts for garnish.
I call for 1 cup of walnuts so you have extra for snacking on as they are delicious.
Salad oil, or olive oil will do instead of walnut oil.