Chez Panisse ... The name sets me aquiver. Organic, sustainable, local, ecologically sound, and above all fabulously delectable. *drool*. Well, I don't live in Berkeley, I've only been there once, but the memories are firmly imprinted, waiting to be refreshed. Well, I don't really remember what I ate, but I remember loving it ... every bite of it! And I can't wait to be back! In the meantime, I make do with reading Alice Waters' cookbooks - sometimes before going to bed! Nothing like waking up with amaranth or fennel on the mind, huh? :)
So, yesterday, Chez Panisse Vegetables was opened to page 45 - 'Red and Golden Beets with Blood Orange, Endive and Walnuts' it read. Guess it was our lucky day - the beets were in, the rest - we figured we'd substitute. Getting some flavor of this divine salad was *so* much better than skipping it! We decided to forego the raspberry undertones of the blood orange and replace it with the sweet satsumas instead. And the endive was replaced with red leaf lettuce instead - I know, totally different flavor, but that was the best we had! Trust me, the salad was still divine :) And the vinaigrette was sweet, tart, explosively flavorful - I slurped the leftovers and licked my bowl clean (a la Vodka!)
An ode to Alice Waters
1 red beet
1 golden beet
2 satsuma oranges
1/3 cup of walnuts - lightly toasted
3-4 leaves of red leaf lettuce
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T orange juice
2 T olive oil
zest of 1/2 orange
1 t freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Trim and wash the beets and put them in a baking pan with a splash of water.
Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes until the beets can be pierced through with a sharp knife.
Uncover and allow the beets to cool.
Trim off the top and bottom of each orange.
Pare off the rest of the peel and slice the oranges into 1/4" thick rounds.
Make the vinaigrette by mixing the vinegar, orange juice and the orange zest (finely chopped or minced) along with the olive oil.
Season with the salt and pepper.
Once the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them (the skin actually comes off real easily!)
Cut off the tops and bottom tails of the beets and slice them into rounds.
Toss the beets gently with the vinaigrette.
Arrange the beets along with the orange slices and shredded lettuce.
Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the salad and garnish with the walnuts.
Could it get any better?! :)
And the love for everything Alice Waters has created continues. As does the countdown to the next visit to Chez Panisse. *so* excited. We'll be there soon!
Think I'm going to send this to Simona for Weekend Herb Blogging #112 - no herbs here, but the plethora of vegetable and fruit flavours makes it an ideal candidate!