On Monday night I received the news that I lost a dear cousin in a tragic car accident. I’ve sat at the computer a couple of times knowing that I needed to post something today. Food is my art form. I express love to others through food. I decided to share a dish that was a meaningful part of our Easter celebration. After all, Easter is a celebration of Jesus Christ’s victory over death. It is with great love, and deep mourning that I share this recipe. It is a simple salad, but I had made it with symbolism in mind. I used bitter herbs to symbolize the bitter cup from which Jesus partook. I used vinegar to represent the vinegar he was forced to drink. I used beets to represent the blood that was shed. Despite the bitterness of the herbs and power of the vinegar, the salad is surprisingly sweet. Just as the sting of death and the bitterness and sorrow of this life can hurt on its own, combined with the message and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the ultimate result is something sweet and good .
Makes 4 large servings
3 large beets, peeled and cubed
1 bunch salad greens (spinach, watercress, arugula, curly endive, and escarole all have a slight bitterness)
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1 orange, juiced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1. Steam the beets until tender (see cooking lesson below). When finished, cool in the refrigerator.
2. Wash the salad greens, dry in a spinner, and combine in a bowl. Top with cooled beets and crumbled goat cheese.
3. Make the dressing by combining the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt in a small bowl and whisk. Drizzle over the salad just before serving.
How to steam vegetables:
Steaming vegetables is a healthy way to cook vegetables. It requires no additional fats and the steaming process helps the vegetable itself to retain more nutrients and flavor. There are a few different methods you can use.
There is an actual specialized kitchen appliance you can buy called a steamer. It has a base, a steaming basket, and a lid. You just fill the base with a couple inches of water, put the veggies in the basket that fits over the base, put the lid on, heat the water to simmering, and steam away.
2. Makeshift Steamer
A makeshift steamer can be made using a pot, a colander, and a lid that at least somewhat fits. You’d put an inch or two of water in the pot and then put the colander over it. The colander should be able to fit over the pot without touching the water in the base. Then cover it with a lid. It doesn’t have to be a prefect fit. Just as long as it traps most of the steam inside.
The pan method isn’t perfect, but it does work. Pick a saucepan that is big enough to fit all your veggies in it. Put a half inch of water in the bottom and bring it to a boil. Add in your veggies, put the lid on, and reduce the heat to low so it just simmers. The water will create enough steam to cook the vegetables, but the veggies that actually touch the water might get a little soggy or overcooked.
Use a microwave safe bowl and just put a little bit of water in to cover the bottom of it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke a couple holes in it to allow some steam to escape. Microwave until desired done-ness is reached.