It’s finally Friday, and despite how gloomy it is outside, I couldn’t be happier. I guess I’m antsy because the Fourth of July weekend is coming up, which means we get to see Kramer’s dad and the rest of the Kramer family (as well as Miss Jill Ormond, who we miss so much!) for a quick weekend trip up to Montauk. Kramer and I have never been to the Hamptons, so I plan on wearing all white, basking in the sun, and hopefully finding an abandoned yacht to pretend to own for 5 minutes. Who knows what the future holds? Can anyone score me an invitation to Diddy’s Hamptons party? I’ll be waiting! That weekend also means more blockbuster summer movies and enjoying fireworks in New York City, which I don’t think you can beat (although I’ve never been to Philadelphia or Boston during the holiday, and I assume it’s quite an event there, too).
Ah, the salad. There are so many ways to make it interesting. Today, I went with golden beets. If you’ve never had them or made them at home, please do yourself a favor and pick some up! They taste like candy (and look like candy, too, if you ask me). I had to stop myself from eating all of them as I cubed them up to toss into the salad, but they are so delicious that it was really hard to do! The golden beets work wonderfully in this salad, alongside juicy strawberries, earthy mushrooms, and caramelized onions. I threw in some blue cheese for good measure, too, because when you have blue cheese (as I did, leftover from making chicken salad sandwiches), you are obligated to put it in as many dishes as possible, right? I drizzled some honey-mustard dressing over everything and dug in – let me tell you, it was quite an adventure in your mouth, with all of the flavors and textures. That’s how I like my salads, and I hope that you do, too!
First, roast your beets.
Simply cut off the stems, wash them, wrap them in foil, and bake at 400 degrees F for 25-45 minutes, depending on how large they are. I had 3 beets of varying sizes; the smallest took 25 minutes, while the largest took the full 45 minutes. They should be fork tender, like a potato.
After they’ve been roasted, you can easily peel the skins right off.
Look at those beauties! Try to use them as soon as possible, as they can start to oxidize and turn black after a few hours out in the air.
Now let’s make that salad!
Slice or dice (whatever your preference) your beets, and quarter your strawberries.
Cook your sliced onions with a tablespoon of butter over medium heat for about 25 minutes, until caramelized, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent them from burning too much.
Gently wash and thinly slice your mushrooms.
And cook them in batches over medium heat. You don’t want to overcrowd the mushrooms, or else they will steam instead of browning nicely. After a few minutes, they will begin to release their natural juices, so don’t add any butter to them until they are almost ready to be removed from the pan.
Combine your lemon juice, mustard, and honey to make your dressing.
Toss it all together, add some blue cheese crumbles, and enjoy!
- 2-3 medium sized golden beets
- 1 bunch mixed greens, washed and dried
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced thinly
- 8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly
- 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5-6 large strawberries, cleaned and quartered
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (or some other grainy mustard)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- blue cheese, for crumbling
- First, roast your beets. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and wash your beets to remove any dirt. Cut off the green stems, then wrap each beet individually in tinfoil. Place the beets in the oven and roast for 25-45 minutes, depending on their size. My smaller beet took about 25 minutes, while the larger one took the full 45 minutes. They should be fork tender, like a potato, when fully cooked. After they've been roasted, allow them to cool until they can be handled, then simply peel off the skins. Cube or slice thinly, whichever you prefer, and set aside.
- While your beets are roasting, caramelize your onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pan over medium-high heat, then add in your thinly sliced onion. Turn the heat down to medium, and cook, stirring every 5-8 minutes or so, until browned and caramelized, about 25 minutes in total. Remove to a plate when finished and set aside. For your mushrooms, heat another dry pan over medium heat, and all in the sliced mushrooms in batches (I did about 3 batches). Allow the mushrooms to heat up, without stirring them, until their natural juices come out. At this point, you can add a bit of the remaining ½ tablespoon of butter, until browned, about another 3-4 minutes. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl or plate when finished (you can just put them on the same plate or bowl with the mushrooms).
- Now, slice your strawberries and make your dressing by whisking together the mustard, honey, and lemon juice. Taste, and add more of any of the ingredients, if you like. Toss the greens with the roasted beets, caramelized onions, mushrooms, strawberries, and a bit of crumbled blue cheese. Pour your desired amount of dressing over everything and serve.