Friday, January 30, 2009

A Ray Of Sunshine On A Cloudy Trip

Though I have mentioned all the BAD parts of my trip up north, I have not told you about any of the good parts. Yes, honestly there were some good parts. I got to see all of my immediate family along with some of my extended family including my cousin whom I have not seen in about 10 years! Considering I was in Indiana for less than 48 hours that is quite an accomplishment!
As I mentioned before, I went to Dayton, Ohio to see one of my best friends (who I have not seen for 2 yrs) on my way to Indy. Now I have LOTS of "best friends. " But she is one of only two, that knows ALL my secrets. Mostly because she like the other one, was my partner in crime in many of those secrets. These are the kind of friends that you will always be friends with because it's too dangerous not to be!
Besides our "wild youth" (relatively speaking) one of the things we share is that we are both Foodies. We have an unriveled love of unique flavors and textures and willingness to try just about anything.
During the 2 1/2 days I was there we did some major eating. One of the places she took me (twice actually) was a small independant resturant called "The Medowlark" She had raved about it! But when we pulled into the parking lot of a non-descript strip mall my heart sank a little. That lasted about 2 mins (the time it took us to park and walk inside) here, hidden in this strip mall was certainately a treasure!
Inside the decor was a charming beatnik,alternative, funky modern art conglomeration. Unique cloth napkins and placemats at each table.The employees matched the decor and so did the food!
The menu, is somewhat small and changes seasonally. It touts mostly salad, sanwiches and soups and read like poetry. No generic terms like mouthwatering, delicious... blah, blah, blah. It gave beautiful discriptions of the fresh,wonderful cheeses and vegetables and spices. There was no need to ask for explanation of any dish, you could imagine exactly what it would taste like just by reading wait you could "almost imagine" because it tasted EVEN BETTER!
There were so many wonderful things there like a grilled portabella sandwich topped with roasted red peppers and Brie grilled to perfection on a beautiful Rye bread. Roasted tomato soup with basil. Garlic Frites with home made catsup (sure to be the topic of a future post). I could go on and on! But, since it is a 10 hour drive it would only serve to torture you. But believe me, if it were not for the cold weather and snow. I would consider moving to Dayton just to be able to eat at this resturant!
One of the dishes I had there was a beautiful beet salad with goat cheese which is half of the inspiration for todays post. The other half is a Ina Garten recipe that I found on Food Network. This sort of a fusion of both. The colors are so bold an lovely. It makes a great presentation that would be perfect for a dinner party or luncheon.
Beets tend to be a "love' em or hate' em" Food. Many people do not like the "earthy" flavor they have. But, the orange and vinegar in this recipe cuts through that and gives them a fresh, bright flavor!
I had originally planned on roasting fresh beets (which I have never done) for this; but, Ina's recipe called for canned beets. If canned beets are good enough for the Contessa, darnit they are good enough for me!
Orange Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
2-15 oz cans of sliced beets,drained
1/4 cup Raspberry Vinegar
1/4 cup Freshly squeezed Orange juice
1 Tbs Olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 large seedless orange
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Wisk together Vinegar, orange juice and olive oil salt and pepper. Place beets and onions in a bowl and pour mixture over top. Toss lightly, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Immediately before serving zest orange and set zest aside. Remove remainder of peel and with a sharp knife remove as much of white pith as possible. Segment oranges.
With a slotted spoon remove beets and onions from vinaigrette and arrange on individual serving plates. Drizzle a small amount of the vinaigrette over top. Divide orange segments between each plate and arrange on top of beets. Break up goat cheese into small clumps and arrange on each plate. Grind additional black pepper over entire salad. Top each with orange zest and sprinkle with walnuts.
Notes: For a more substatial dish you could also serve this on a bed of spinach or field greens adding a bit more of the vinaigrette to flavor the greens.


Dragon said...

Citrus and beets are a great combination. Your salad is lovely!

to2sassy said...

Thanks Dragon,but not near as lovely as those brownies!