Happy Pi/Pie Day! I know that most people are probably celebrating with desserts, but what about a savory pie? Or rather a savory dish with pie in the name that isn't actually a pie? Whatever, don't judge me. It's time for another vegetarian lunch with Melissa from Smells Like Brownies. Be sure to check out her delicious Pi Day Coconut Cream Pie, it is sooooooo good!
This vegetarian version shepard's pie is packed with veggies, topped with creamy goat cheese, and perfect for St Paddy's Day (which is never St Patty's by the way). I mean, just look at that gorgeous green topping.
The base is made with roasted beets, eggplant, sundried tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes simmered in vegetable stock with thyme, caraway seeds, and fennel seeds. I was a little scared that the fennel and caraway would be really strong and take over, but they added just the right amount of depth and a real Irish flavor.
Melissa of Smells Like Brownies has been doing a CSA this year, so for one of our weekly vegetarian lunches we decided to use up some of the beets and lettuce she had received. This super delicious and filling salad involves sweet roasted beets, fragrant toasted walnuts, and creamy goat cheese. Simple and fresh - this is a great way to enjoy beets!
Warm Beet and Chèvre Salad
from Smells Like Brownies
3/4 lb beets (about 3 medium)
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra as needed
1 tbsp honey
salt and black pepper
1 wheat baguette, cut into 1/4″ slices
1 medium head lettuce, such as Bibb or Boston
1/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
4–6 oz goat cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Wrap the beets tightly in foil and roast them for 1–1.5 hours, or until they are soft enough to pierce through the thickest part with a butter knife. Unwrap the beets and let them cool 10–15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Lightly brush the baguette slices with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Set the slices on a cookie sheet and broil in the oven for 3 minutes.
Rinse and tear up the lettuce. Sprinkle the toasted, chopped nuts and oregano over the greens.
When the beets are cool enough to handle, rub the skins off the flesh. Cut the beets into slices or wedges and sprinkle over the salad.
Top the salad with crumbled goat cheese and a drizzle of the oil and vinegar dressing.
I LOVE roasted beets - sweet and rich and beautiful, like healthy edible jewels! One of my favorite ways to serve them is in a salad with watercress and fresh mozzarella. But I have made that so many times that I wanted to try something a little different. This version uses goat cheese, a slightly more complex dressing, and a different method of roasting.
Usually I just wrap the beets in foil and roast them. This method involves first placing the beets on a bed of salt and herbs. It imparts just a little bit more flavor to the beets.
So I went and bought the vegetables I wanted to use - carrots, celery, beets, fennel, and asparagus.
Then I sliced them up using the slicing blade on my food processor (a mandoline would also work) and tossed them with high quality olive oil, lime juice, and sea salt.
I actually stored the vegetables like that in the fridge and throughout the week or so that they lasted I would take out what I needed and add it to raw kale massaged with olive oil (which takes some of the bitterness out) along with watercress, grapes, pepitas, and fresh mozzarella for a delicious summer salad.
It is so healthy and fresh and keeping the vegetables raw means that you are getting the full nutritional value from them, plus they keep you super full. But this seriously tastes so good that you will not even be thinking about how healthy it is.
We had been meaning to try out Michael Mina's signature restaurant, Bourbon Steak, for quite a while, and when we finally did we were not disappointed - except by the steak.
We started out in the lounge, where we perused their massive and innovative cocktail list. I had the 1919, with aperol, grapefruit bitters, prosecco, and a sugar cube - a perfect aperitif. There were many more drinks on the list that I would love to try as well; we might have to come back for an evening at the bar.