Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Perfect Holiday Salad

The Vegetarian cooking class I taught as a part of my At Home with Heidi series on Tuesday December 4 was such a hit I decided to share one of my favorite recipes from the class. I am very proud to say that all the ingredients in this one were local from in and around Charlotte, NC. Trying as much as I possible can to cook and shop all local and then if I am unable to find what I need, I go for not so local but organic.

This my Beet 'n Blue salad. I would have taken pictures of the finished plates but the salads got eaten by all of us so quickly, that I didn't think about pulling out the camera till plates were empty! So the photo at the bottom is a recent harvest of local lettuce at Tega Hill Farms - can't wait to teach another On the Farm class there!

This salad is perfect for the holidays! Local hydroponic greens  and microgreens from Tega Hill Farms in Tega Cay, SC and local golden beets from New Town Farms in Waxhaw NC - both of these farms sell at the Matthews Community Farmers' market; and  local blue cheese chevre from Holly Grove Farms in Mount Olive NC.

The cheese is available at Simply Local in Charlotte's Atherton Farmers' market. For the dressing - two fabulous flavor infused balsamic vinegars and one extra virgin olive oil from my favorite local Olive Oil shop in Charlotte - Pour Olive on East Blvd.

The sea salt and pepper blend are both selections from Charlotte's Savory Spice Shop in SouthEnd - see the note at the end of the recipe for more details.
Here is the recipe - enjoy!!!


rrecipe by Charlotte Culinary Expert, Heidi Billotto

For the dressing:
1 tsp. minced shallots
½ tsp dry mustard
Sea salt and Heidi's Hot pepper blend* to taste
2 Tbsp. fresh minced thyme and parsley
¼ cup Pour Olive Pomegranite balsamic
2 Tbsp. Pour Olive Vermont Maple balsamic
1/3 cup your favorite  Pour Olive extra virgin olive oil
For the salad:
2 cups roughly torn bit sized pieces of Tega Hill Farms lettuce
1 bunch New Town farm beets
½ cup crumbled Blue Chevre from Holly Grove Farms 
1 cup Tega Hill Farms  bulls blood microgreens

Trim beets of greens leaving just the tip of the stem rinse well. DO NOT PEEL. Wrap unpeeled beets in foil and roast in a preheated 375 degree oven until tender (about 45 minutes). Now you can easily rub the skins off of the beets with a paper towel and your hands wont turn "beet red
Cool, peel and chop or slice the beets and arrange them on individual salad serving plates over a bed of the mixed Tega Hill Farms lettuces.
For the dressing, place all liquids except olive oil in a small bowl. Mix in herb and spices. Gradually whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For a ‘creamy style’ dressing add 1 Tbsp. of mayonnaise to the herb and vinegar mix and the blend in the oil.
To assemble the salad, top with beets and lettuces with crumbled cheese. Drizzle with the dressing and finish with a little mound of the bulls blood microgreens on top. Enjoy!

* "Heidi's Hot Pepper blend" is a blend i developed with product from the Savory Spice Shop in Southend in Charlotte - its equal parts Lampong, Tellicherry and Pink peppercorns all ground together in a coarse grind.


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