Monday, March 11, 2013

Ruby Salad with Crumbled Feta and Spicy Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)


Serves 8 to 10
From Cowgirl Cuisine by Paula Disbrowe via farmhousetableblog and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This spectacularly beautiful salad is what you serve for special occasions to your most favorite of all people.  It does take some prep, but most of it can be done at least a day in advance, which makes this easy to toss together at the last minute.  You will be rewarded with a stunning platter of ruby goodness.  There’s the sweet earthiness of the beets, the crispness of the cabbage, the tang of the onion, vinaigrette and feta, the freshness of the lettuce greens and the crunch of the roasted pumpkin seeds.  (The spicy pepitas make a fabulous snack on their own.)  All of the ingredients you will need are available at Lost River Market & Deli.  This would make a super supper for Meatless Monday too.

To prepare beets:
1 bunch beets, trimmed and scrubbed
2-3 fresh thyme or rosemary sprigs or 2 fresh bay leaves
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
Olive oil
To roast the beets, preheat the oven to 400.  Place a piece of foil on a baking sheet.  Place a piece of parchment paper on top of that.  Put the beets, herbs, Kosher salt, and a drizzle of oil in the center.  Toss the beets to coat.  Fold the foil/parchment in a loose-fitting but tightly sealed packet around the beets.  Roast the packet on the baking sheet until the beets are tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Let the beets cool completely in the foil/parchment.  When cool, use a paring knife to peel and slice the beets into wedges (beets can be roasted up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.) 

For the vinaigrette:
1 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
¼ cup olive oil
Place the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar. Screw on a tight fitting lid.  Shake the jar vigorously.  Set aside. (This can be made a day or two in advance and left at room temperature.)

For spicy pepitas: Place 1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) with 1 teaspoon oil, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt on a rimmed baking sheet.  Toss to coat the seeds.  Slightly shake the baking sheet to evenly spread the seeds on the baking sheet. Roast at 375 until golden and fragrant, 6-8 minutes (you’ll hear them popping).  Cool completely on the baking sheet.  (Can be made ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.)

For the salad:
4 cups very thinly sliced red cabbage
1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
4 cups mixed baby greens
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (blue cheese or goat cheese would be nice substitutes)
Cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 cup spicy pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
To assemble the salad, combine the cabbage and onion in a medium bowl and set aside.  Up to an hour before serving, add the beet wedges to the cabbage and onion and gently toss with half the vinaigrette.
Just before serving, add the baby greens, half of the feta, and half of the pepitas; toss with the remaining vinaigrette.  Arrange on a big serving platter and garnish with the remaining feta and pepitas.
Photos of Some of the Prep
Put the beets, herbs, Kosher salt, and a drizzle of oil in the center of a piece of parchment paper that has been placed on top of a sheet of foil.
Roast the packet on the baking sheet until the beets are tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. (This may take a bit longer if the beets are especially large.  To test for doneness, pierce with a knife.)
Unless you want pinkish red hands, you should wear gloves when handling the beets.
Slice the beets into wedges for the salad.  The beets can be roasted up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
Thinly slice a red onion.
Add the onion to the shredded cabbage.
It's usually cheaper to buy a block of cheese and crumble it yourself.  It's easy to do.
Place 1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) with 1 teaspoon oil, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt on a rimmed baking sheet. 
 Toss to coat the seeds.  Slightly shake the baking sheet to evenly spread the seeds on the baking sheet.
Roast at 375 until golden and fragrant, 6-8 minutes. (You’ll hear them popping).  Cool completely on the baking sheet.  (Can be made ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.)  Notice how the seeds turn from green to a toasty brown color.  These also make a really yummy snack.
Here's a close-up shot of this beautiful salad.  

2 comments:

Martha Bost said...

This salad was WONDERFUL!

Katie Palmer said...

I was inspired when you sent me this recipe yesterday so i featured it on my blog. Thanks again so much for sharing. http://muirbotanicals.blogspot.com/2013/10/pumpkinfy.html

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