Little known fact: I was actually on the Food Network once. The show was an Al Roker on the Road special about food clubs, and I was featured in a segment about a group called Girl Friday in Iowa City. Unfortunately, the episode aired on the first night of Pesach in 2004, so I’ve never seen it.
We made a bunch of great recipes the night they filmed us, and one of them has become a standard in my kitchen. It’s really easy, gorgeous, and very tasty. The recipe comes from Thisbe Nissen, who co-wrote The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook, and is generally awesome. While we were boiling the beets she kept encouraging someone to use the water to dye her hair purple. Also, I’m pretty sure she got me to say on camera that beets are really sexy.
Anyway, this salad is perfect for brunch or Shabbat lunch. Adding the cheese at the end saves it from turning pink, but if you’re not bothered by fuschia cheese you can add it whenever you want.
Spinach, Beets and Goat Cheese Salad:
1 bag baby spinach leaves, pre-washed, or beet greens, thoroughly washed and chopped
1 bunch beets, boiled until tender, peeled and chopped roughly
2 cups walnuts, chopped
1.5-2 cups crumbled goat cheese (feta works, too, but goat cheese is best)
Your favorite vinaigrette dressing
Boil the beets until they’re tender when poked with a fork. I almost always use red beets (much sexier than golden beets) but you can also use the golden variety, which won’t dye the cheese pink.
Let the beets cool, run them under cold water and the peel should slide right off. Chop.
Combine the spinach, beets, and walnuts, and add the dressing. Toss, and then put all the cheese on top.
Yields: 6 big servings, 8 side servings