Two Recipes for Summer…

   Golden Beet Salad

3 large red beets (1 2/3 lb without greens)
2 large golden beets (1 lb without greens)
1/4 cup minced shallot
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup pistachio oil
4 oz soft mild goat cheese
3 tablespoons salted shelled pistachios (not dyed red), coarsely chopped
1 oz mâche (also called lamb’s lettuce), trimmed (4 cups)

Special equipment: a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (without handle; at least 2 inches high)
Preparation
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Separately wrap red and golden beets tightly in double layers of foil and roast in middle of oven until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Unwrap beets.

While beets are cooling slightly, whisk together shallot, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add oil in a stream, whisking.

When beets are cool enough to handle, slip off and discard skins. Separately cut red and golden beets into 1/4-inch dice and put in separate bowls. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons dressing to each bowl and toss to coat.

Place cookie cutter in center of 1 of 8 salad plates. Put one eighth of red beets in cutter and pack down with your fingertips. Crumble 2 teaspoons goat cheese on top, then one eighth of golden beets, packing them down. Gently lift cutter up and away from stack. Make 7 more servings in same manner. Drizzle each plate with 1 teaspoon dressing and scatter with some pistachios.

Toss mâche with just enough remaining dressing to coat and gently mound on top of beets. Serve immediately.

Cooks’ notes:
• Beets can be roasted and diced 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
• Molded beet salad (without mâche) can be assembled 45 minutes ahead and kept, covered, at cool room temperature. 

Baked Salmon with Cranberry Crust

This recipe comes from my friend, John Aleshire, who heads the Indianapolis Humane Society.  There’s a previous post about his work with a website for the Indianapolis Humane Society.  

 
This is a perfect winter dish.
Baked Salmon with Cranberry Crust

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four 6 – 7 oz salmon fillets

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Salt and Pepper

*   
Dijon mustard

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3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)  Regular will do if you can’t find these

*   
1/4 cup dried cranberries

*   
1/4 cup chopped green onion

*   
3 Tablespoons melted butter

*   
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme

*   
2 Teaspoons grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 375.  Oil baking sheet.  Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.  Place skin side down on sheet.  Brush flesh side with Dijon mustard

Combine panko, cranberries, 2 tablespoons melted butter, thyme, and lemon peel in medium bowl and blend well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon misture on to the salmon.  Press to adhere.  Drizzle with remaining melted butter. Bake until topping is golden and salmon is just opaque in center, about 20-25 minutes

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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