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Baby Beet Greens with Spicy Mediterranean Vinaigrette
Ellen Ecker Ogden
“This unusual salad ties together earthy greens, sweet-tart cranberries, smoky cheese and crunchy croutons with a spicy-sweet dressing. Baby chard and beet greens have bright-colored ribs and veins, which give this salad a beautiful look.”
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup carrot juice
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
4 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon nonfat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups cubed whole-wheat or multigrain bread
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ small clove garlic
Pinch of salt
4 cups baby beet greens, baby chard or baby spinach
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup shredded smoked cheese, such as Cheddar
1To prepare vinaigrette: Heat mustard seeds, coriander and cumin in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add carrot juice and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
2Place raisins in a blender and add the hot juice. Let stand for 5 minutes to plump the raisins. Then add vinegar, cilantro, yogurt, honey, crushed red pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper and blend until combined. Pour in ¼ cup oil and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
3To prepare croutons: Preheat oven to 375°F.
4Toss bread and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl until well combined. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until golden and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.
5To prepare salad: Season a wooden salad bowl by rubbing with garlic and pinch of salt. Chop the garlic and add to the bowl along with greens. Pour ¼ cup of the vinaigrette over the greens. (Cover and refrigerate the remaining ½ cup vinaigrette for up to 3 days.) Sprinkle the salad with cranberries, cheese and the croutons; toss and serve.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the vinaigrette (Steps 1 & 2) for up to 3 days.
Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.