Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad
Gourmet | September 2000

1 bunch beets (3/4 pound without greens or 1 1/4 pound with), trimmed
1/4 cup sliced natural almonds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large Asian pear
3 cups arugula leaves (3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 425°F
Wrap beets in foil and roast in middle of oven until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Unwrap beets and cool.

While beets are roasting, cook almonds in oil in a small skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden. Cool almonds in oil (nuts will get darker as they cool). Transfer almonds with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and season with salt.

Stir together shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and oil from almonds in a large bowl.

Slip skins from beets and halve large beets. Cut beets into 1/4-inch-thick slices and add to dressing, tossing to coat.

Quarter and core pear and cut into julienne strips.
Arrange beets on a platter and drizzle with any dressing remaining in bowl. Top with arugula, then pear. Sprinkle with almonds

Herbed Summer Succotash

Herbed Summer Succotash
Gourmet | August 1999

1/4 pound bacon (about 4 slices)
1 pound fresh shell beans in pod or
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
3/4 pound cherry tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pints)
4 ears corn
1 small Vidalia onion or other sweet onion
1 large garlic clove
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1 1/4 cup packed small fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup packed small fresh arugula leaves

In a skillet cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels and crumble. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from skillet and set skillet aside.

Shell fresh beans if using. In a small saucepan of boiling salted water cook beans, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 15-20 minutes. In a sieve drain beans and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking.

Cut larger cherry tomatoes in half. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, cut corn kernels from cobs. Chop onion and mince garlic.
Add oil to bacon fat in skillet and cook onion over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, corn, and vinegar and cook, stirring, until tomatoes just begin to lose their shape. Remove skillet from heat and gently stir in beans and half of bacon. Cool succotash to room temperature and gently stir in basil, arugula, and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve succotash spooned over focaccia or other crusty bread and sprinkled evenly with remaining bacon.

Arugula Pesto

Arugula Pesto from

4 cups (packed) arugula leaves (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil

Blend arugula, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese in processor until almost smooth. With machine running, gradually add olive oil; process until well blended. Sea- son pesto to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made ahead. Cover and let stand up to 2 hours at room temperature or refrigerate up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Strawberry Arugula Salad

Strawberry Arugula Salad

1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups baby arugula or torn arugula leaves
1 cups sliced strawberries (about 10 ounces)
1 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved and crumbled into small pieces (1/2 cup)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar (see Ingredient note)
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Toast walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and aromatic, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a salad bowl; let cool for 5 minutes.

Add arugula, strawberries, Parmesan, pepper and salt. Sprinkle vinegar and oil over the salad; toss gently and serve at once.

Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette for Two

Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette for Two

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
Pinch ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups mixed greens, washed and dried

Combine vinegar, shallot, mustard (if using), salt, and pepper in bowl with fork. Add oil, then whisk or mix with fork until smooth, about 30 seconds. The dressing will separate after 5 to 10 minutes, so use immediately or mix again before tossing with greens.

Place greens in large salad bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss until greens are evenly coated. Serve immediately.

Pesto Potato Salad

Pesto Potato Salad

2 pounds red potatoes, boiled until just tender when pokesd with a knife, sliced into 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup packed, washed and spun dry arugula leaves
1 cup packed basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmeasan
1 garlic clove, crushed

Cook the potatoes, slice and cool them slightly. In a blender purée the arugula with the nuts, the oil, the Parmesan, the garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, add the pesto to the potatoes, and combine the salad well. You could also add some sliced radishes to this dish.

Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad with Zucchini

Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad with Zucchini

1 bunch arugula
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (to taste)
1 zucchini
12 oz. rigatoni or penne pasta
½  cup olive oil
½ cup parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Start the pasta water. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, and then in half again lengthwise. Do this a couple more times until you have long quarter inch wide strips of zucchini. Now chop them into inch and a half matchsticks. Add the pasta to the boiling water, while it cooks make the pesto. Cut the arugula above the rubber band, wash and spin-dry the leaves. In a food processor add the arugula, oil, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper. Run the processor until you have a nice consistency, drizzling more oil in if it is lumpy. When the pasta is done, place your colander in the sink. Put the zucchini in the bottom of the colander and drain the pasta.

This is my lazy approach to cooking some vegetables. Slice them into small pieces and let something else cook them. Between having the boiling water dumped on them and the hot pasta sitting on them the zucchini should be nice and tender. You can wait a minute and dig one out from the bottom and see how it is. When ready add the pasta and zucchini and pesto to a large bowl, toss and top with a more parm, salt and perhaps a drizzle of balsamic. Can be enjoyed hot or as a cold pasta salad. You could certainly add basil and peas to this dish as well.