Spring Greens and Beets with Grapefruit and Wine Soaked Cranberries
This spring and summer I started to understand the beautiful and delicious characteristics of the beet and the grapefruit. My awareness came on separate occasions.
The beet experience came first. As a kid I remember eating pickled beets and eggs but I couldn't recall any other memories of the beet. As an 'experiment', I grew beets in my garden this spring. When they were ready to harvest in early summer I made a pickled beets and egg recipe. During the process of making the beet pickles, I tasted the cooked, non pickled beet. It had this wonderful aroma and a hearty but sweet, earthy flavor. (See the following link on Beetroots to learn about the many nutritional benefits of the beet.)
My grapefruit experience came on a separate occasion. I grew up thinking that grapefruit is a breakfast food that you cut in half and used a knife to cut away the membranes, sprinkle with sugar and eat. Then, I was visiting a client this summer and he sat in front of me, peeling a grapefruit, munching while we talked. It was a revelation. What I've learned is that beyond the major nutritional benefits of the grapefruit, they are really tasty by themselves or in dishes.
Grapefruits are said to be a great source of vitamin C and lycopene along with potentially reducing cholesterol. (See Grapefruit-Wikipedia)
Spring Greens and Beets with Grapefruit and Wine Soaked Cranberries Salad 1/3 c. cranberries 1/3 c. white wine 1 lg yellow beet 2 lg red beets 1 ruby red grapefruit 4 cups of spring greens Dressing ¼ c. olive oil Grapefruit juice from fruit remaining after segmenting Juice from ½ lemon 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1/2 – 1 clove of garlic (depending on size of the clove) Beets can be cooked a day ahead of time or right before making the salad. Trim beets. Cook beets whole. To avoid leaching of beet color trim beets stems 1 inch from beets and leave main root uncut. Wash, stripping as many tiny thread roots off as possible. Fill pot of water to cover beets and bring to boil. Once you bring to boil, lower heat to a simmer. Simmer until beets are tender but have a touch of resistance to the prick of a fork. The time will vary greatly depending on the size of the beet. The time range is likely to be 30-45 minutes. Cool. Cut the root and stem end off. Peel the skins off and slice the beets in ¼ inch slices. Soak the cranberries for an hour. Segment the grapefruit. Cut off each end and then trim off the rind. Once you have the meat of the fruit without the rind, cut each segment out. You’ll be left with the pith of the grapefruit. In a separate bowl, squeeze the juice out for the dressing. Combine dressing ingredients and whisk to bring together. Whisk together immediately prior to pouring over salad.
Place greens in a bowl with beets and grapefruit. Drizzle dressing over. Mix and serve.
Food is so intriguing. I’ve always loved to cook whether it’s casual and simple or complicated and elegant. After living in the Midwestern United States all my life I find myself jumping between All-American foods and foods from other cultures. There is definitely a sense of comfort with cooking and enjoying food that I’ve grown up with.
I have a voracious curiosity to learn about all cultures, especially the Middle East/Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai foods. I’ve learned that a simple curry dish or an Asian dumpling can transform your mood and be just as much of a comfort food as the foods you’ve known you’re whole life.
It is fascinating to me how each culture has such a diversity of ingredients, and when used with different combinations and cooking techniques you can easily transform the same few ingredients into a multitude of dishes. The unfamiliar, the diverse ingredients and techniques, can be intimidating to many people. I’ve created this blog to chronicle and share my explorations in the kitchen so that hopefully you will want to start experimenting in your kitchen.