I might have designed a big ole happy face onto this salad today, for its cheery colors inspire not only the bright sparkly sun shining forth, but also the cheery sentiment I’m feeling after having just attended the Edible Philly “Eating Words” one day conference hosted at the Free Library of Philadelphia last Saturday.
Besides being so much fun connecting with many amazing ‘food folks,’ including a full range of local food writers, editors, publishers, cookbook authors, recipe developers, a few bloggers, and assorted other food tourism, artisan or food related small business entrepreneurs, there was just so much to learn and so much to share, every single moment throughout the agenda packed day. The wrap-up concluded a most successful day while noting the togetherness in energy and attentive interest between the group, a very ‘special community,’ seeming apropos, given the warmth and positive electricity inspired at every juncture.
One of the days Breakout Sessions included a Hands-on Recipe Development program. Sure, I was game to be one of the volunteers preparing an impromptu dressing, well, that is, until I got the shout out on my designated category: non-fat dressing. Not my typical genre, as you know. What could I do but set to it?! With a broad selection of flavors and assorted colorful ingredients to choose from, I simply grabbed a couple of oranges, a lime, a shallot, an itty- bitty piece of garlic, and a good handful of both fresh parsley and chives. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Chop, chop, chop. Whisk, whisk, whisk. A sprinkle of salt and pepper, a hint of white wine vinegar. Whisk, whisk whisk. Time was nearly up as I decided in the final moment to add just the tiniest tip of the small spoon with a bit of Dijon mustard. Whisk, Whisk Whisk. Refreshing, clean, bright, packed with flavor, and non-fat, in all, simply perfect for an Arugula, Beets, Goat Cheese Salad, my ‘Eating Words Philly’ non-fat Orange Dressing.
- 2 cups arugula per salad, more or less to desired amount
- 3 small red beets, cooked, skinned, cubed (directions below)
- 2 medium sized golden beets, cooked, skinned, cubed (directions below)
- 2 oranges, pith removed, cut into segments
- 3/4 cup goat cheese, approximately, sprinkled between 4 salads
- 2 tablespoons salted sunflower seeds
- 3-4 large oranges, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 very small clove garlic
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional
- good pinch or two coarse kosher salt
- 2 pinches cracked black pepper
- Toss arugula with some of the dressing to lightly coat. Using separate bowls, toss a few tablespoons or more orange dressing with the red beets and then the golden beets, season each with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, stir. Top red and golden beets and orange segments onto arugula, sprinkle with goat cheese and sunflower seeds.
- Whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, shallots, and garlic. Add in the mustard, whisk, sprinkle in salt and pepper, whisk again. Stir through the fresh parsley and chives.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place about 2 inches of water on the bottom of a ceramic roasting pan. Cut bottom side of beets so they stand up evenly. Place red beets off to one side of the pan and golden beets on the other side. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Cook until beets are fork tender throughout, begin checking for doneness after 35 minutes, if beets are varying sizes remove any cooked beets before returning larger beets to the oven for finishing.