Mediterranean Beets & Spaghetti Squash
Spring is near, can you sense it? I can’t wait! Meanwhile, I’m just thankful that the crazy snow and ice is out of sight. I have a hard time eating my fresh veg when gazing at an arctic landscape.
Beware of these two stellar recipes. You will find yourself picking them off the baking pan and noshing straight from the skillet. They are super healthy Mediterranean bites, and can be eaten as is or with protein added such as shredded chicken, feta, and/or a hard-boiled or over-easy egg. And they hold up great in the refrigerator for a few days, unlike traditionally dressed salads. Eat them at room temperature or very slightly warmed.
A note on a few of the ingredients: Notice the beet greens (stems and leaves). Instead of tossing, incorporate with the kale. Beet greens are sweeter and even more nutritious than kale. Shallots can hard to find and can be expensive. You can sub red onion. Just soak the sliced red onion in water for about 30 minutes to cut down on the intensity. Shallots are milder. Arugula may be harder to find, as well. Or you may just find it in a mix of lettuces. It’s worth using, as it provides a mustard-like burst of flavor that can’t be matched.
Roasted beet salad with crispy kale and almonds
1 bunch kale, well cleaned and ribs removed (about 8 ounces kale leaves)
2.5 pounds (6 to 7 beets) washed, dried and peeled
Beet stems and leaves
salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 ¼ teaspoons dried rosemary
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400.
Toss kale and beet leaves with salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet. Roast in heated oven for 7 minutes. Check, and if kale is not crispy enough, leave it in oven a little longer (I went up to 10 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside.
Cut peeled beets into wedges. Place the beets on a baking sheet and season with salt. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil and toss to coat. Make sure the beets are spread in one layer on the baking sheet and roast in heated oven for about 45 minutes or so.
While beets are roasting, make the lemon-honey vinaigrette. Simply mix vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine (if the honey is too thick, you can warm it up very briefly in the microwave for just a few seconds to help it mix better.)
Toast silvered almonds in a dry non-stick skillet, tossing frequently, until almonds turn a golden color (do not brown too much.)
When beets are ready and you are able to stick a knife in without resistance, remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add shallots.
Pour the lemon-honey vinaigrette on top, and give the beets and shallots a nice toss. Add crispy kale and very gently toss. Transfer beet salad to a serving platter. Add toasted silvered almonds. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
-adapted from themediterraneandish.com
Spaghetti squash and arugula
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 large spaghetti squash
2-3 green onions (white and green parts, separated)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped arugula
1/2 cup shaved parmesan
Preheat oven to 375.
Cut the top of the squash off (to make it easier to slice down the middle). Slice it lengthwise down the middle, scoop out the seeds and drizzle the flesh with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Turn the halves flesh side down on a baking sheet and insert your knife in each halve to let any excess steam out when it bakes. Put them in the oven for about 45 minutes for a medium sized squash… or until it gives a little when squeezed with tongs. Set aside to cool.
Once the squash has cooled enough to be handled, gently loosen the strands of squash by scraping it with a fork and leave in their shell while you prepare the pan. Chop your garlic and scallions, be sure to reserve the green tops for later.
Heat a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil to coat pan. Add scallions, garlic, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Saute for about 3-4 minutes or until vegetables have begun to soften a bit. Add your squash (discard the shells) and salt and pepper. Saute for about 6 minutes or so.
Next, chop your green onion tops and arugula. Add them, lemon zest and juice, and parmesan cheese. Toss to incorporate and taste. If it needs a little salt or pepper add it and serve.
-adapted from laurenariza.com
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